Dark Sky Finder - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2011, 04:35 PM   #1
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Dark Sky Finder

I came across this web site today. We are particularly fond of places where darkness, the absence of lights, make it possible to see the night sky. This site contains a short list of some sites.

One of our favorites is Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, one of the very best set of Indian Dwellings in North America, said to be 75 miles from a street light. Another is just about any part of the Trans-Labrador Highway. We plan to search out one north of Elko Neveda this coming year. A really clear night with a dark sky can quickly make you feel less significant.

At Chaco Canyon one of the rangers has had an observatory that campers can visit on occasion.

DarkSky Finder & Destinations

Sky picture that got me interested from Sark Island in the English Channel.
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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When we go opal digging in the Denio/Virgin Valley, NV area, I'm always amazed at the clarity and sheer number of visible stars to behold. You can actually see the Milky Way, (something not visible where I live due to ambient light pollution.) It is up in the northwestern portion of Nevada, far removed from any city lights, and high up (altitude-wise) where the air is clear and crisp. It's about 100 miles from Winnemucca, which is the nearest real town. Totally awesome experience.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:29 PM   #3
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I took this at my campsite at Craters of the Moon National Monument in ID.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:09 PM   #4
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My favorite dark sky place is in Ft.Davis, Texas. The McDonald Observatory, the research observatory of the University of Texas is there and they also give wonderful public programs and 3 times a week Star Parties. The altitude of Ft Davis is the same as Denver and the Observatory is higher so when the rest ofTexas is cooking it is refreshingly cool out there. The whole county, which doesn't have that many people to start with, is under light restrictions and follows Dark Sky Asso outdoor lighting guidelines.

There is also a very nice state park, The Davis Mountains State Park.

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Old 08-24-2011, 07:15 PM   #5
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Do you try to hit these darksky sites around the time of a new moon, or doesn't it really matter if the moon is shining? Just wondering.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:56 PM   #6
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I forgot about FT. Davis, It's very dark where I used to live in Terlingua Tx. right next door to Big Bend National Park.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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Jon and Karen,
Thanks for the tips.

Mike, You really like to have minimal moon for maximum star visibility. Jon's picture is a perfect example of what's possible. The number of stars and what ever is just enormous, beautiful and stimulating in all kinds of ways.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
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Great photo Jon! Love the trail on the bottom left.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Do you try to hit these darksky sites around the time of a new moon, or doesn't it really matter if the moon is shining? Just wondering.
I have a nifty little phone app called SoLuna, which will give you sun and moon rise and set times for any date and location. It really helps plan your viewing trips because you can predict dark hours even during fuller moons. A full moon will really gray out the sky.

Karen
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:32 AM   #10
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Here is one more for the sky observers
Rocky Mountain National Park - Park Area: Trail Ridge Road
It is on my "bucket list"
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen M View Post
I have a nifty little phone app called SoLuna, which will give you sun and moon rise and set times for any date and location. It really helps plan your viewing trips because you can predict dark hours even during fuller moons. A full moon will really gray out the sky.

Karen
Another iPhone App useful for photographers is The Photographer's Ephemeris. In addition to rise & set times it also tells you where the sun or moon will rise/set projected on a Goggle map of your (or any) location.
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