Author Topic: best places to live for amateur astronomers  (Read 461 times)

Jasper Banks

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2018, 01:09:43 AM »
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..................................... extreme, remote places like the Boot Heel of New Mexico top the list. IMO there has to be more balance and creature comforts like social activities, shopping, and health care should enter in to the calculation, not just dark skies.

I would hardly call the Boot Heel of New Mexico remote. It is rural.

Remote is when you drive three hours one way to get to a bar!!

Three hours from the Boot Heel gets you to Tucson. Bars are much closer. There is a interstate highway accessing the area!! There are some remote areas left in the west. Things are relative.

We have a place not far from the Boot Heel...and the growth in light pollution in the past few years due to population growth is amazing. It is a concern about what the skies will be in a decade or two in the area.

I chose the area due to decent skies and fairly warm temperatures in winter. I suspect most amateur's are not considering comfort in observing. It is getting real hard to get excited about observing in cold weather anymore.

The other factor is day length. Get far enough south and you can start observing at 6:00 pm and get three hours of observing in and go to bed by 9:00 pm. Up here in the Northwest come summer you start observing at midnight and stop at 2:30 am. It is hard to get up in the middle of the night to start observing and then go back to bed.

Jermaine Conner

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2018, 01:36:41 AM »
I'm for Moon Base Rumsfeld....I'd love to observe my home planet, watch the earthrise, its various phases, etc....just once before I go.

Gandza Startley

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2018, 04:37:34 AM »
I would plan to live in rural Durango. There's plenty space out there to build a house. I've actually looked on google maps. Durango also has a scope shop named "Durango skies". They are an observatory solution based store, and sell a 1.0 meter RC , along with smaller based RC's. I've actually considered living in Durango, and working there. It'd be my dream job.

presalacder

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2018, 07:56:40 AM »
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Suwanee, Florida.

Right at the mouth.

Boats and fishing. Birding. Scope.

Very best,


How are the mosquitoes and Palmetto bugs down that way??

For me, a lack of flying insects seems like an important attribute.. There are such places.

Jon

guisamcipen

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2018, 08:23:06 AM »
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I was wondering if it's at all possible to observe from a boat or Ocean Linerin the middle of the ocean? HAHA, polar alignment nightmare to say the least with all the wave action!

I do believe usually at night the waters are calmer. But I am not talkingfrom experience. But looking at Google maps for dark places I can see that the Ocean is the darkest with plenty of space between any land light pollution.

Hey, what about one of those Oil drilling platforms out there. Are they not secure and steady or do they also float?

I always wondered why they never put a platform out in the middle of the Ocean to do astronomy? Could it be due to the effects of condensation and evaporation would make viewing difficult?

It's called Mauna Kea.

grafpievimel

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2018, 08:41:34 PM »
Durango, CO....in winter (Oct thru May). Hope you like cold and snow...on the plus side you can finish off a viewing session with a good soak in the various natural Hot springs.

Michael Postle

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2018, 09:06:25 AM »
Some of the darkest sky I've seen was when I was at Sheppard Air Force Base in northern Texas. My wife and I would head out into the sticks and would find places so dark, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. That's been 20+ years ago. I'm so used to white/red skies at this point, if I saw black/blue I'd probably pass out.

Jermaine Conner

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 01:26:31 AM »
If I'm stuck in the continental U.S., I'd pick Flagstaff, AZ. Then again, I hate anything resembling cold so much that I'd stay here in metro Phoenix. For my purposes, a large number of clear nights is much more important than sky brightness, and we have that in southern Arizona.

If I were only interested in darkness and number of clear nights, and didn't have to worry about practicalities as employment and knowing the language, I'd pick San Pedro de Atacama, in Chile.

Tom

Jerry Ridl

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 04:11:00 AM »
vaskies, I live in the darkest of blues. It never gets old.

coreanoguf

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 12:29:46 PM »
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If I'm stuck in the continental U.S., I'd pick Flagstaff, AZ.

Tom

Sssshhh.We're trying to keep that quiet.

libulbinis

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2018, 01:39:59 PM »
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Quote

If I'm stuck in the continental U.S., I'd pick Flagstaff, AZ.

Tom

Sssshhh.We're trying to keep that quiet.
Ha. I thought the same. Snowy sometimes and a bit cold in the winter but close to really dark skies, low humidity, not many insects and clear many nights except during some monsoon seasons. We have clouds now though and I had to "settle" for viewing the sun the other day because it has been cloudy at night. There was a clear night a couple nights ago but I was busy. Dang. Falling temps at night can be a bit of a challenge.

Richard Gayer

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2018, 12:34:02 AM »
Bugs are definitely worth considering. Durango has been mentioned several times. I've been snowed on in June there, and been eaten alive by some invisible chigger kind of mini bug; pustule erupting sores all over my legs. I won't take shorts there again. I find that environ a little harsh, like it's too close to the sun and the air is not thick enough. Somewhat harsh. Some very picturesque areas nearby though.
Florida? Only if you don't mind being part of the food chain, and not exactly at the top. That likely applies to much of the south.
Probly some excellent places in Texas, and other areas of the lower midwest; Kansas, Oklahoma, etc.
I tend to think Jon's got it right; San Diego county has alot to offer with all the micro climates in close proximity, generally mild weather, and lack of predatory nightime flying insects. Beach, mountains, desert, all within an hours drive from each other.
Also all the amenities and negatives that come with close proximity to a large city.

Steve Lewis

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2018, 11:41:17 AM »
I've heard some like the area around Big Bend NP in Texas. That would be warmer.

therpomercu

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2018, 05:43:55 PM »
Flag has its drawbacks with all the ambient light. I've thought that further south up in the mountains around Jerome, AZ may be a good location or further north along the south side of the Canyon. Second Mesa over on the Hopi land is plenty dark at night -- in fact, pitch black on top of that Mesa.
 Drive over Wolf Creek Pass in a Winter Blizzard sometime and you will begin to understand well the limitations on Durango. On the plus side, Durango has a stretch of bars and nightclubs in its old town which are second to none anywhere -- which, of course, makes night time observing all the more difficult.

ziecouvicog

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2018, 07:26:33 PM »
One nice thing about the Flagstaff area is that during the summer you have very nice temperatures if you don't like it really hot. And not so far away the temperatures can be quite different. Just down the mountain will be warmer. Some people like the Prescott area or Sedona area and those are both warmer. Sedona will be more expensive.