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class="prefix prefixSilver">Discussion The Dark Sky Experience

Discussion in 'General Astronomy Chat' started by StaringAtStars, Aug 8, 2016.

The Dark Sky Experience

Started by StaringAtStars on Aug 8, 2016 at 11:11 PM

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  1. StaringAtStars

    StaringAtStars Administrator

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  2. bventrudo

    bventrudo Staff

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    This is a fine article Bill, and it sums up what it's like to observe under truly dark sky. It can be disorienting, and the constellations almost don't matter as much as the Milky Way itself. You have inspired me to start planning a little road trip soon...!
     
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  3. BillP

    BillP Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. And it certainly was disorienting! At home I explore the constellations. There it was a whole new sky and the Milky Way was what needed exploring.

    Was wondering, do you know of any resource that approaching observing that way? Milky Way centric observing?
     
  4. bventrudo

    bventrudo Staff

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    I do not know of such a book, though I have been mulling over the idea of writing one myself. I first got the idea from the great amateur observer and telescope guru Glenn LeDrew in Ottawa. We were out on a very clear night, and he was touring me through some obscure objects in the summer sky. He totally and consciously followed the Milky Way, not the constellations. I thought it was pretty cool and I still do. Your article reminded me of this!
     
  5. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    I have now read the article, and found it truly amazing - as well as opening-up an entirely unexplored (to me) vista! This is going to keep me busy a long time.

    As a practical application, I'm now going to head out tonight - clear skies up here in Podunk - and play in the starfields in what I though was 'Cygnus!' Oh Lordy!

    Thanks for this folks -

    Dave
     
  6. kevan hubbard

    kevan hubbard Well-Known Member

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    A very interesting article. M51 is fairly easy I find and you can even do it with a 25mm objective from a dark location. M101 is more diffuse but I seem to recall just picking it up with 25mm and 42mm.a test of sky quality would be getting m33 with the naked eye.
     
  7. BillP

    BillP Well-Known Member

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    I cannot see M51 or M101 from where I live, even with a 10". There M51 was blazingly bright in the 90mm at 37x with the arms plainly apparent. M101 was more ghostly in character, arms structure more ethereal, but still quite an easy find as too bright to miss when scanning across the field in the 90mm at 20x (32mm 1.25" eyepiece).
     
  8. kevan hubbard

    kevan hubbard Well-Known Member

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    I live in a medium sized city but I can even walk to quite dark areas if I'm feeling energetic. M51 should be fairly easy in rural areas, m101 is brighter but more diffuse and takes more effort luckly a chain of 4 stars lead to it from mizar. M81 is easy but m82 tricky with 25mm however quite easy with 42mm.someone claims to have seen m81 with the naked eye even but I'm rather doubtful?
     
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  9. tripod tipper

    tripod tipper Well-Known Member

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    Bill,
    I read the article and it reminded me of my first childhood look at the stars. I grew up in Saugus California up in the hills, (now called Santa Clarita). That was my first experience of the milky way, (bright and clear)! That caught my interest in astronomy. Thanks for sharing you're experience.

    Dennis
     
  10. kevan hubbard

    kevan hubbard Well-Known Member

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    I remember being in the troodos mountains in Greek Cyprus a few year back and the milky way was arching across the sky almost top to bottom the southern bottom being wiped out by the light pollution of limosol over 35km away. I was also on sark, a dark sky island in the English channel with an unusual political status, and likewise amazing views but a bit marred by the lights of Cherbourg, France, and St Peter port,Guernsey.it really is time for governments to treat not only then energy wasted by the light generation but the light itself as a form of pollution.
     
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  11. TheLookingGlass

    TheLookingGlass Member

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    WOW !!!! Such an amazing article Bill. It was nice to find out just how different really dark skies are, compared to the suburbs or even just outside of a major city to slightly darker skies.

    Cheers!
     
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