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How far to get away from light pollution ?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by sdsnet, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    I would like to take my wife and daughter camping. The site needs to be free from city lights so they can really see the stars at night.

    We live in Houston. How far does one need to go and where ?

    The main goal is to show them how many stars you can see on a clear night and should be a nice place to camp. We will take our dogs as well.

    sdsnet
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  2. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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  3. Drain You

    Drain You NRA member

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  4. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    I deal with this for photographing star trails. Elevation, mountain ranges, humidity, air pollution/wildfire smoke all effect light dispersion.

    Go as far as you can and go on the dark of the moon. I was going this weekend but even in Utah it is useless this week because of the wildfire smoke. It is carrying the light for miles.

    Goggle "darkest places in the US and Texas". There are some good maps.
     
  5. Huaco Kid

    Huaco Kid

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    Northern Arizona.

    Wow!
     
  6. MoparMan1991

    MoparMan1991

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    I like to get about 100 miles away from any city when I camp.
     
  7. jtull7

    jtull7 Pistolero CLM

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    The place in the contiguous US with the least light and radio pollution and other various pollution is in the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. That is where the Very Large Array is located, for that very reason.

    See: http://www.vla.nrao.edu/
     
  8. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

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    You may as well know what you're looking at!

    Get yourself one of these...

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Seasonal-Star-Charts-Luminous-Finder/dp/0833118021/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345266054&sr=8-1&keywords=seasonal+star+charts"]Amazon.com: Seasonal Star Charts and Luminous Star Finder: A Complete Guide to the Stars (9780833118028): Discovery Channel: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GjTsRfGTL.@@AMEPARAM@@41GjTsRfGTL[/ame]


    And a good pair of 8-power binoculars with the largest objective lenses your budget allows...

    And a red flashlight to preservce your dark-adapted eyes... :wow:

    http://www.telescope.com/

    To maximize your enjoyment, take a cloudy night before your trip, and using the star charts, plan a Hit List of stars and objects you'd like to observe!

    Many deep sky objects are within the grasp of binoculars... :cool:

    If possible, avoid a moonlit night!

    Have fun! :wavey:

    --Ray
     
  9. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    Excellent ! I have a pair of Nikon 10 x 50's so that should work.

    Thanks folks !
     
  10. RimfireMan

    RimfireMan

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    I've been places in northern Mexico where we were at least 40 miles from the nearest electric light (a light, not a city). Man does it get dark at night.
     
  11. Jonesee

    Jonesee

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    Houston?

    20 miles offshore is the easiest for you.

    Get 40 miles out in the open ocean and you will be amazed how many stars there really are.
     
  12. Peace Warrior

    Peace Warrior Am Yisrael Chai CLM

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    I literally have to leave my county now to be able to really see meteors and such. Personally, I like to go to some of my fiashing/hunting locales.

    Generally speaking, I need to go anywhere from 20 up to 60 miles away on average.
     
  13. DoubleWide

    DoubleWide

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    Head towards Galveston and keep going. :supergrin:
     
  14. Lone Wolf8634

    Lone Wolf8634 :):

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    I have to travel about 45 miles to get out of the LP here in Wy. The town that I live in has a pop of about 50,000 and even at that distance I still get a glow in the sky. Especially with all the smoke in the air lately.

    I've been trying to get a good pic of the Milky way as practice for when I get rich and get my astrophotography set up.


    BTW, I found the Andromeda galaxy with a set of 10x50 bino's, it's faint and hard to find but possible.

    If you have one, take a SLR camera, I have a Canon with a 300 mm lens, in the morning when Jupiter rises I've been catching 4 of her moons. Not much more than small points of light around a larger point of light, but cool nonetheless.
     
  15. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head Staff Member Admin Silver Member

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    Pluto was discovered from the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. Flag is a Dark Sky city and the view at night is amazing. The lack of light, coupled with the altitude and low humidity make for a remarkably clear night sky. It is the only place I ever lived where I could look up and see the Milky Way clearly defined above me. Eric
     
  16. rick458

    rick458 USS Texas BB-35

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    Check out Brazos bend state park, they even have an Observatory

    And Alligators
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  17. turretg

    turretg

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    Here....right now.
    I traveled through Flagstaff at night, I too was amazed at seeing the milky way so bright with the naked eye.