Author Topic: best places to live for amateur astronomers  (Read 589 times)

retaweawebs

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best places to live for amateur astronomers
« on: December 24, 2017, 07:50:12 PM »
Lets hear your dream location to reside with dark, clear skies.

Mine's Durango, CO



Ivan Deane

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 07:41:11 PM »
My small wish.

ISS

Doug Woods

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 04:22:07 AM »
Quote
Lets hear your dream location to live with dark, clear skies.

Mine's Durango, CO

If my current location just had more clear nights with less humidity and less airglow, I'd be a happy camper. My skies are fairly dark.Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Ralph Sonberg

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 05:51:44 AM »
It gets awfully cold at night in Durango during the Fall; Winter; and, early Spring seasons.

Sean Meyer

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 07:23:04 AM »
La Palma.

knucareaslo

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 09:27:49 AM »
+1 La Palma

Warren Tucker

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 02:40:53 PM »
Durango is a major city by the standards of its area. You would still have a fair drive to get to dark skies.

If I were going to live somewhere strictly for dark skies, I would want somewhere where my backyard is dark. The difference between driving even 15 miles (as in Durango) and driving not at all is pretty big.

But I'm not sure I would want to live somewhere with dark skies. I love walking, and in genuinely remote areas you are a slave to your automobile. Can't even get a quart of milk without a major expedition.

outatnoha

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 02:39:07 AM »
I am quite happy living in San Diego. The city itself has plenty of light pollution but the seeing is generally quite good so my backyard is well suited for observing the planets and enjoying close double stars.

San Diego county is about 4200 square miles and includes just about every sort of environment possible, every possible micro-climate, there's the coast with it's beaches and mild weather, there's foothills and real mountains with snow in the winter and there's deserts where it's hot in the summer but mild in the winter. The back country has reasonably dark skies and there is plenty of open land for observing, about half the county is either a state park, national forest or BLM land, it's open. And truly dark skies are with a day's drive.

Add in the year around fine weather, the lack of flying insects, the clear skies in the mountains and deserts, the moderate to dry humidity... Most people live where the climate and weather is governed by large scale effects. If it's cloudy and you drive 100 miles in any direction, it's probably still cloudy. In San Diego, with the varied terrain and micro-climates, you might drive 5 miles and it will be clear.. A couple of years ago a couple of friends from the midwest were visiting our place in the high desert.. Their hotel was by the bay and it was solid overcast when I picked them up. They wondered if it was even worth driving out to the mountains because of the clouds. I assured them it was worth the drive.

The skies are not the darkest, the seeing isn't perfect but as a place for an amateur astronomer to live, it's tough to beat.

Jon


Chris Jiles

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 09:22:55 AM »
I am sure there are so very many places and that they all have their pros and cons. I spent a few amazing nights in Angel Fire, NM in 2010. Even inside the little town, the skies were Bortle dark blue; and within a few short miles, black. And all of what you've heard is really true. Milky Way casts a shadow. Clouds appear as holes in the sky.

Wish I'd had access to a telescope there!!!

tirafarpa

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 05:14:37 AM »
Suwanee, Florida.

Right at the mouth.

Boats and fishing. Birding. Scope.

Very best,

Brian Olatunji

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 10:24:43 AM »
As long as it's really dark, the seeing's good and it's fairly clear and warm year round, I would be happy. In other words, I'm not that fussy.

Logan Budd

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 03:24:29 PM »
north central New Mexico
away from the bigger cities/towns

southern NM OK
maybe better for astronomy but more isolated

edj

writgobetfcoo

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 01:07:27 AM »
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?

nontpremlapi

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 08:56:52 AM »
Quote
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?

These structures have togive when pushed hard, or they would break. Think of tall buildings in hurricanes, like modern skyscrapers. They're not rigid. If they were, they'd break and crumble.

For an observatory, it needs to not move so that tracking is accurate. If touching moving water and lots of wave energy passing through, it will vibrate a lot.

The best observatory would be outside of our atmosphere. We should build a sweet one on the dark side of the moon.

Very best,

Michael Robinson

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Re: best places to live for amateur astronomers
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 04:26:49 AM »
The answer hinges on your personal definition of "living". If we allow a hobby to dominate our life at the expense of other considerations then 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.