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Thread: Want To Hear From Our Extreme Northern Members

  1. #1
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    Default Want To Hear From Our Extreme Northern Members



    I live on the east coast of Penna.(city boy) and am a real admirer of the state of Alaska. There's just something about Alaska that draws me. I watch every documentary on the state.
    Recently, I have been watching the show "Life Below Zero" for the third time on Netflix. They show the sky, many times, with the northern lights and the abundant stars. One time, they showed the sky with the Pleiades and it was as prominent as me looking at the Moon.
    I have been to a dark grey site and M45 was bright. But this is amazing.
    I have attached a photo from the show and would like to know from any of our extreme northern members (doesn't have to be Alaska), is your sky as vivid as this?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Want To Hear From Our Extreme Northern Members

    Any truly dark sky site, not just those at high latitudes, will show a sky like that when conditions are good. An astronomer friend of mine was recently at Kejimkujik National Park (latitude 44d 24m), an official dark sky preserve, a black zone. He measured the sky at 21.8 magnitudes per square arcsecond, the darkest he's ever seen, and he's been around.

    The biggest variable, after light pollution, is transparency.

    When I lived on the west coast, we were in a gray/blue zone at latitude 49d 30m. I recall one remarkably transparent night when I was walking along a driveway with some friends. One of them looked up and asked me, "What is that blob?" That blob was M31! It was not only visible to the naked eye with unaverted vision, it was prominent enough to attract the attention of a non-astronomer!

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    Default Re: Want To Hear From Our Extreme Northern Members

    Hi all,
    I am located in a relatively Northerly locale (Winnipeg, Canada) - about the same as Calgary, Vancouver, and slightly further North than Toronto or Montreal.
    I've been lucky to do some recent viewing away from the glow of the city and in relatively transparent conditions. I found more targets in 2 hours than I had the previous two weeks!
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    Default Re: Want To Hear From Our Extreme Northern Members

    I measured 21.6 at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. It was truly stunning. They have a nice long road that runs the length of the park with plenty of turnouts. We just went back a couple of miles and set up the scope. No traffic whatsoever after dark. Plus we were up at about 7500 ft above sea level.
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    Default Re: Want To Hear From Our Extreme Northern Members

    I moved down from Fort Smith in the NWT last year. Very dark skies. We were on the northern edge of Wood Buffalo National Park which is the largest dark sky preserve on the planet. It is 4,480,700 hectares and is 1-2 on the Bortle scale (https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nt/woo...activ/2015act5) You could see M31 naked eye on good nights.

    Our light pollution was the Aurora . Several nights we had to pack up the scopes because all you had was a green haze to look through.

    Here is an aurora video by Yuichi Takasaka around the area and at the Dark Sky Festival in 2015. These were shot at night although it looks like day. You can see the Pleiades in the opening shot. At the Sky festival, I'm one of the buzzing bodies zipping around the scopes
    https://vimeo.com/138682286

    You can find very dark sites closer to home. I live on Vancouver island inland aways from Qualicum Beach and the Milky Way is very prominent. I just don't count on seeing too much if I have to look towards Vancouver.

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    Default Re: Want To Hear From Our Extreme Northern Members

    At our dark site in the Allegheny mountains of Virginia during a typical night, the sky reminds us of what we experienced when we lived in rural Indiana in the 1980s. The summer Milky Way is extremely bright and very detailed from horizon to horizon, and you can move around illuminated by starlight. The winter Milky Way is a readily visible band (though obviously not nearly as prominent). Venus is bothersome in the evening sky, affecting dark adaptation.

    Like Kathy's experience, M31 was very prominent with the naked eye (though we didn't have any non-astronomers with us). I could differentiate the inner lens from the outer halo with the naked eye, and in the scope its diffuse outer sections extended out to M32. This gave the illusion of M110 "appearing" brighter than M32. I can see many Messier objects naked eye, and the Pleiades were indeed very prominent, and M44 was very obvious itself. Typical SQM-L readings range from 21.2 to 21.5.

    As much as I enjoy the aurora, I am thankful it doesn't reach us often, as I know it can wreck both visual and imaging sessions - unless that is your intended target of course. Thanks for the link to the video Larry - I love a great aurora, as long as I'm not trying to observe other stuff at the time!
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    Default Re: Want To Hear From Our Extreme Northern Members

    I have seen skies that bright and clear in Utah when I was in the Fish Lake Forest area a few weeks ago.

 

 

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