Author Topic: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures  (Read 544 times)

miswalltile

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 01:04:00 PM »
When you say "temperate," do you mean warm winters as well as cool summers? There are plenty of places in the northern U.S. with relatively cool summers, but with the exception of the Pacific Coast, which is cloudy all winter long, they also have extremely cold winters.Best bet for temperate is high altitude at southerly latitudes. There are tons such locations in CA, AZ, NM, CO, and even Texas.Being near a big city and having dark skies is obviously a contradiction in terms. So you have to compromise -- how big, how close, how dark?Flagstaff, being a college town, punches well above its weight in culture/population ratio. And you can get to superb skies with an hour's drive. But I wouldn't exactly call Flag a big city -- more of a three-horse town.

Louis Sullivan

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2018, 03:24:51 AM »
The OP may want to consider theNew Mexico Skies Astronomy Enclave.

http://www.nmsouthernskies.com/

Dave Mitsky

foarehortalp

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2018, 08:52:09 PM »
Dave,

This is different than I have seen previously although I had looked at the area through Sperling' s http://www.bestplaces.net/

Bruce

housletica

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2018, 09:17:07 PM »
Quote
Well epee, how about Georgia? as opposed to Antarctica??
I have a relative that retired there and understand the economy is pretty "retirement friendly"
Are the skies like Indiana in the respect of average clear skies? Dark sites?

Bruce

I think you're going to find Georgia cloudy and humid -- like the rest of the Gulf states.

behelphyri

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2018, 09:33:15 PM »
Southwest US above 3000' altitude.
Clear skies, moderate temperatures.
Many locations in CA, NV, AZ, NM, UT, CO that qualify.
Not too high or it will always be cold.

Clyde Duke

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2018, 11:17:48 PM »
We chose Silver City, NM. We're at 6,600 feet, so clear skies and more moderate temperatures than Phoenix where we now live. The high was 95F over 4th of July which was unusually high, but we left Phoenix at 116F! Silver City does get a bit of snow, but only a few inches a year. Winter temps drop below freezing but usually only at night.

We bought 20 acres about 5 miles west of town. We're still close to shops and such, yet enjoy 21.4 SQM-L skies. We hope to build our retirement home there but for now we have an off-the-grid cedar shed that acts like a cabin.

Zachary Tenk

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2018, 03:09:05 AM »
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The higher elevation areas in AZ, NM and Texas would not be as warm. I live in Flagstaff, AZ at 7000 and we rarely get into the 90's. You will have to deal with snow. Then there is Prescott and Sedona which do not get much snow but are a little warmer in the summer. Or get 2 homes like many do and enjoy the best of both

Similar in climate to Prescott is Payson. Prescott is northwest of Phoenix, Payson northeast. Payson's a tad more laid-back and a hair less "touristy" than Prescott or Sedona, especially Sedona.

tiostaralzo

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 03:10:34 AM »
Some of my best high altitude observing was up on the Mogollon rim in BLM land east of Payson.

biocaunico

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 09:43:24 AM »
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The cliche is "but it's dry heat." The reality is that it's hot but it is dry and that goes a long way in making life palatable. That Midwest 92f with 90% humidity qualifies as downright uncomfortable..

As others have said, finding that balance, close enough to civilization, not too hot, not too cold, clear, dark skies.. Higher altitudes are cooler in the summer and down right cold in the winter.

Jon

Mark Deutsch

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 02:55:08 PM »
Northern New Mexico is nice. Some friends have a place a bit SE of Chama that's in a great spot. Lots of secluded tracts around. The area is very short on services though. And you will still want to air condition your home up there even at 6-7000'. And they get quite a bit if snow. All the way across northern NM from around Dulce to about Cimarron is pretty cool when you're at altitude. Pretty country.

It's not warm in Texas in the summer, it's hot. Everywhere I know anyway.

obinspumtou

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2018, 01:08:12 PM »
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When you say "temperate," do you mean warm winters as well as cool summers? There are plenty of places in the northern U.S. with relatively cool summers, but with the exception of the Pacific Coast, which is cloudy all winter long, they also have extremely cold winters.
Best bet for temperate is high altitude at southerly latitudes. There are tons such locations in CA, AZ, NM, CO, and even Texas.
Being near a big city and having dark skies is obviously a contradiction in terms. So you have to compromise -- how big, how close, how dark?
Flagstaff, being a college town, punches well above its weight in culture/population ratio. And you can get to superb skies with an hour's drive. But I wouldn't exactly call Flag a big city -- more of a three-horse town.

Wow, Tony you are URBAN!!

Flag has a metro area population of 140,000. That is a LOT more than three horses. Pretty close to Phoenix...... only a two hour drive. You hit Sedona within an hour.

Flagstaff meets almost all your needs and your wife's. Winters are not cold so much as snowy, but lots of sun. Everybody I know that lived there loved it. Even the Easter egg hunts in the snow...when spring comes late.

outatnoha

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2018, 09:02:04 PM »
I'd almost consider St. George UT.

Adam Rice

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2018, 06:15:06 AM »
I passed through Flagstaff as a teenager in 1974. OK, I was almost 20. Anyway is was January and there was lots of snow on the ground. I remember it being a nice town then.

My financials will play a big part in my retirement living arrangements. A small place with a bed and a place for the telescope will be about it! Seriously, I will have to be prudent in how much I can afford.

Eric Curry

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2018, 11:39:27 PM »
I have found this light pollution atlas to be helpful even though the underlying data are now eleven years old: http://djlorenz.gith...erlay/dark.html. On a large scale, you will see that the country is almost evenly divided into the bright (east) side and, except for a few large cities, the dark (west) side. On a small scale, you still can find dark places in rural parts of the east.

It sounds like you have a few years before retirement. Why not use vacation time until then to check out various locations for a week at a time? A good place to find clubs, whose members will have local knowledge, is the Astronomical League (www.astroleague.com). Once you are retired, move to the best candidate for an extended time, ideally a full year. Until you are sure it's the right place, don't make any commitments (e.g. buying real estate) that you can't undo fairly easily.

There are several CN threads on the subject of finding an astronomy-friendly place to live. Unfortunately, they aren't consolidated into one forum. (Maybe, it's worth adding a forum for that purpose.) You might try searching on state names in the Light Pollution forum.

Something else to consider is an RV. I live in Omaha, Nebraska which is hardly a Mecca for astronomy. It's hot and humid in the summer, cold and snowy in the winter, many nights are cloudy, and it's an hour or more to the nearest places (typically state or county recreation areas) with reasonably dark skies. One of the members of the local club has a large fifth wheel trailer. He and his wife spent the last two winters at an astronomy-friendly RV campground near Rodeo, New Mexico. Recently, we bought a minivan as an alternative to tent camping at dark sites. I'm an astrophotographer. If it's uncomfortable outdoors, I can sit inside the van with my computer taking advantage of heat or air conditioning. We are self sufficient except for a toilet. If we had a small motor home, travel trailer or truck camper with that, we could use places (e.g. wildlife management areas) that have no facilities at all.

byhodete

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Re: Locations with generally clear skies and cooler temperatures
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2018, 06:47:18 AM »
nothing beats your backyard, but I could certainly consider RV'ing to a nearby dark site. I've looked at the same dark sky map and have given up on east of the Mississippi.

I honestly had not considered contacting clubs prior to vacationing. We did go to Santa Fe NM in December last year. Didn't see us living there. It was a high elevation. Perhaps the 3000-5000 ft level would be better and a good compromise for the weather as many have pointed out.

I do appreciate the helpful information members have shared.

Bruce