Author Topic: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark  (Read 361 times)

Bryan Sonian

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Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2018, 12:17:13 AM »
Our green zone is 1 hr 45 min away. Our black zone is 3 hours across state lines. I've never seen it and probably never will. I spend 90% of my time in an orange/red zone a 15 minute drive from home. We only have clear skies maybe 30 days out of 365 and those usually don't coincide on weekend moonless nights.

Justin Prasad

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Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2018, 12:14:12 AM »
I live in the Orange zone in the north part of Los Angeles County. It takes me 1 hour to drive to a Green zone (up I-5), 2 hours to drive to a Gray zone (14-> US 395), and 5 hours to drive to a Black zone (north part of Death Valley NP). I used to do the Green zone 1 hour drive about once per month, but I figured that if I have to take the time to pack the car and drive at least one hour, adding an extra hour of generally little or no traffic road time isn't that much different, so I now do the 2 hour Gray zone trip about once per month. I make the 5 hour Black zone drive about 2 to 3 times per year.Now that I have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, I have access to more places that were "challenging" for my little Hyundai Elantra. Last weekend I made a trip to a site named "Papoose Flat" in the Inyo Mountains (up the graded but in some places steep Mazourka Canyon road that starts in Independence, CA) - about a 3 1/2 hour drive. This is a Gray zone site, is at about 8600 ft. elevation, and usually has not much water vapor in the air above - very comparable to Grandview Campground in the White Mountains where many people go, but about 45 minutes shorter drive.In addition to being away from light domes, some Gray zone sites are definitely darker than others. Here in California, sites like Papoose Flat & Grandview Camprgound, and others can be accessed that are high elevation sites (above 5000 ft.). High elevation has the advantage of getting above much of the particulate matter and water vapor in the sky, making for much better observation of "faint fuzzies". It is amazing how all aperture sizes of scopes perform better with super dark skies. I think smaller scopes show even more of a difference between super dark sites and brighter sites that big scopes (but I usually only take the 12.5" Dob when I go super dark).The attached picture is from the scoping spot I used near Papoose Flat last weekend. That's Mount Whitney in the background across Owens Valley. What an awesome place!Greg

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barlaliblo

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Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2018, 01:32:20 AM »
I can drive an hour and a half and be at a low altitude gray zone, or and hour and a half and be at a high altitude Blue/Green zone. Also i could drive 30 min and be at a blue zone.

I'd drive a few hours each way once a month if that what it took.

Pat Young

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Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2018, 03:57:32 AM »
I live in a red zone that's packed with tall trees.  I'm willing to drive 20 minutes one a week, an hour once a month, and maybe two hours once every 4-6 months. For the two-hour trip, it would depend on the ease of the drive, the safety of the area, and lodging.

musochoolsmee

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Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2018, 11:35:18 AM »
1.5 hours to mag 6.5 skies every weekend. Dunno what this translates as according to blue/gray/black or according to the Bortle scale, etc. We still have to learn these. To enjoy mag 7 skies we'd have to go 4.5 hours, which we haven't yet.

Andre Stubblefield

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Re: Survey, how many miles will you drive for a Dark
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2018, 04:08:33 AM »
Quote
1.5 hours to mag 6.5 skies every weekend. Dunno what this translates as according to blue/gray/black or according to the Bortle scale, etc. We still have to learn these. To enjoy mag 7 skies we'd have to go 4.5 hours, which we haven't yet.
I bet you aren't going to get mag 6.5 skies this weekend

Just kidding - I knew you meant every moonless weekend.

G