Amateur Stargazing?

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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Sat May 17, 2003 2:10 am

We missed it. It was too cloudy to see anything.
Darn!!!!
Two hours later the clouds broke and I had to get up and shut the blinds because the moon was shining so brightly through the bedroom window. Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Tue Jun 24, 2003 4:18 pm

Now, you science fellows have to tell me -- what makes the stars so wonderful in parts of the Western USA? Is it the high elevation, the lack of light pollution, or some combination of those two things?? Or something else entirely that I'm not thinking of?? Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby danlo60 » Tue Jun 24, 2003 4:40 pm

both And now Danlo looked in that direction, too. He remembered that snowy owls mate in the darkest part of deep winter, and so along with this beautiful white bird perched in a tree a hundred feet away, he turned to face the sea as he watched and waited.

Ahira, Ahira, he called out silently to the sky. Ahira, Ahira<i></i>
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Tue Jun 24, 2003 6:06 pm

I was also wondering about the relative lowness of the humidity in comparison with the Great Lakes area. It seems like you can just plain SEE so much further out there...when we were at Badlands National Park they had an overlook that pointed out rock formations many many miles away...it said on a clear day you could see them, and sure enough, we could -- the one butte was something like 30 miles distant...
Ah, someday Danlo, I hope to make it out to New Mexico, and hope to visit with you and your Lady! The Greater Four Corners area might be my faborite part of the world. Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Damelon » Mon Jun 30, 2003 9:21 pm

There are several factors. Light pollution being the main one for the great lakes area in not seeing well. Up in the UP the stargazing is very good, and that's in the great lakes area, but the lightts.

The best time to go star gazing is on a very cold still night in winter. There's less humidity in the air at that time, and less atmospheric turbulence. Of course you freeze, but that's the price to pay.

Altitude has some effect, but not much between the plains and the great lakes. At say 12,000 feet it's makes a difference, but the difference between the 600 feet or so at the great lakes and the 2,000 feet or so on the plains isn't much. <i></i>
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Tue Jul 01, 2003 3:41 pm

Hmmm. So it is a combination then of no light pollution, elevation, and relative lack of humidity?
The best night skies I've ever seen were at the Grand Canyon and at Bryce. Both are several thousand feet up, both are in the desert, and both are a long way from any major cities...
Though there is a little campground right on Lake Superior near Paradise in the UP, and the stars there were quite glorious, too - the nights we were there the Lake was very still and all of the stars were reflected in it like a mirror...the other times we've gone camping up there we've been around Mackinac and there are a lot of lights...
Where we were camping in South Dakota, Damelon, was over 5,000 feet in elevation. Is that enough to make a difference? Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Damelon » Wed Jul 02, 2003 2:37 pm

Basically, the higher you are in elevation, the less atmosphere you have to look through. That's why all the big earth observatories are on the tops of mountains. In dark sky conditions, for just casual viewing, I don't think there is much difference between 5,000 ft. and sea level. But if you were trying astrophotography, it very well might.

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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Damelon » Mon Jul 07, 2003 11:00 am

Stargazing was rather disapointing up in the UP this weekend. Rather cloudy and hazy there. <i></i>
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:40 pm

Down here it thunderstormed every day and night you were up there. I was hoping you would get better weather than we did. Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Thu Jul 17, 2003 4:51 am

Has anyone else been outside to have a good look at Mars? It was absolutely lovely tonight! Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Damelon » Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:07 am

It's been rather cloudy the last couple of evenings. <i></i>
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Mon Jul 21, 2003 6:07 am

Tonight we're having bad storms, but last night Mars was even more lovely, with not as much moonlight. I would really recommend everyone who can going outside and taking a peek. Our lives are the songs that sing the universe into existence.~David Zindell
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Damelon » Fri Jul 25, 2003 1:04 am

I saw Mars the other night. There's no mistaking it as red as it is. :"> <i></i>
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Re: Mars

Postby Earthblood » Wed Sep 10, 2003 5:55 pm

Hey,
This is my first post in this thread, I think - not sure why....

I've been watching Mars the las few weeks w/my 4 yr old. The last 3 nights it has been awesome to behold. The moon has been moving to full (full last night I think) and Mars has been a bright reddish point accompanying the moon as they traverse the cosmos.....

My son has been running around wondering when Mars is gonna land in our yard - it's a little tough to describe planetary orbits, but I did drop 'gravity' on him the other day, which sort of blew his mind a bit....

He still wants to go out everynight to see where Mars is and maybe not coincedentally (sp) has been talking a lot about God & other planets lately. I guess even at a young age the contemplation of how we fit in our universe (big & small) is a sort of natural response to witnessing events in the heavens....I often wonder how early mankind felt when seeing such events (eclipses, meteor showers, etc.) - mostly fear, I guess, but seems like a lot of spiritual ideas have come about in response to the witnessing of such things...

Feeling sort of contemplative today, I guess...

BTW, I am really glad my 'small universe' has come to include you guys!! *hug* Cripple but free; I was blind all the time I was learning to see<i></i>
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Re: Mars

Postby danlo60 » Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:16 pm

I have been enjoying Mars too. With all the crap I find myself in the middle of, on the Web, it's highly refreshing to go out 4 a walk w/ Jam and have all my muddled thoughts wisked away but such an alluring spheriod. And now Danlo looked in that direction, too. He remembered that snowy owls mate in the darkest part of deep winter, and so along with this beautiful white bird perched in a tree a hundred feet away, he turned to face the sea as he watched and waited.

Ahira, Ahira, he called out silently to the sky. Ahira, Ahira<i></i>
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