Star Gazing

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Traxx

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Fort Worth, TX, USA
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Carl
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Grishom
One of the reasons for moving from Motorcycle to pickup is to be able to carry the telescope and associated equipment to various dark skies. The other is to bring the family along.
I am a beginner astronomer, very much so. One of the trips I am looking at is Big Bend NP or SP for some camping and stargazing.
So, how many of y'all like to look at the stars?
 

tw1st3d5

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Georgetown, TX
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Jason
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Kee
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I've wanted to get an inexpensive telescope to carry around but haven't yet. We spent some time out at Caprock Canyon last year and they had a local group come out with really nice (read expensive) telescopes that they let everyone take a turn with. It was amazing what you could see out there compared to the light polluted area. Caprock is quite a bit closer to you in Fort Worth but it doesn't have the offroad trails that Big Bend has.
 
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Chuckem12

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I'm on a short two month trip to north central Texas and was actually contemplating something like this. Bend is more than a couple hours away from me though and not knowing the area kinda makes me apprehensive about it. I am looking for sites up here though and into Oklahoma or even New Mexico.
 

El-Dracho

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I do not take a telescope or other equipment for stargazing with me but I love to be in areas where there is no light polution and watch the stunning starry sky. It is so amazing what you could see out there, in the desert or in the mountains.
 
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Fishiam

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I want to second what TRAXX said. Binoculars are a great start and easy to transport. Also some phone's give you the ability to take long exposure photos. You will be amazed with what a long exposure photo looks like taken from a dark sky location. Be careful. Once hooked it can be an expensive hobby.
 
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RonaldHoward1313

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OB1

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404
South Dayton, NY, USA
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Ronald
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I don't have a telescope for it, but have used binoculars to bring things closer. Mostly I just enjoy being out under the stars, enjoying the tranquility of nature. There is something about being out in the middle of nowhere with millions of stars shining that does something to my soul. I need more of this soon....
 
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JonnyAppleseed

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Tulsa, OK, USA
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I'm a pretty serious astronomer. Download the light pollution map for Google earth to find perfectly dark skies. I personally like the area around the capulin volcano in New Mexico. The black mesa state park in Oklahoma is a good place to camp.
 
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genocache

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Boulder Creek, CA, USA
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gene
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So, What scope do you have? I am an amateur also and have an 8" Dobsonian, it is a bit bulky to take and I am working out how. I go mostly to Death Valley area and the Nevada desert. The skies are very clear and you can get pretty far from city lights, more so in Nevada, the lights from Pahrump pollute the DV area. There is also an app on the phone for identifying what's up in the sky. I have not uploaded it yet. I like taking my scope into town and letting the public see things like the Mercury transit or eclipses as I have a solar filter.
 

JonnyAppleseed

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Tulsa, OK, USA
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Hi,
I guess, such a map is quite useful. Where can I find the download for this light polution map, please?
Thanks,
Björn
Well, It looks like the world has changed, There used to be a kmz file, but now google earth requires the internet. otherwise this works:


As others have said a good powerful set of binoculars can be a great tool. The biggest "wow" moment you will see is to go to a dark sky location during a meteor shower. More amazing than a fireworks show.

Otherwise, avoid full moons, they wash out images of evereything else. quarter phase(half moon) moons are very impressive, the rings of saturn are good crowd pleasers, as are the moons, stripe and big red spot on jupiter.
 
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El-Dracho

Mid Europe Member Rep Germany
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Lampertheim, Germany
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Bjoern
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Well, It looks like the world has changed, There used to be a kmz file, but now google earth requires the internet. otherwise this works:


As others have said a good powerful set of binoculars can be a great tool. The biggest "wow" moment you will see is to go to a dark sky location during a meteor shower. More amazing than a fireworks show.

Otherwise, avoid full moons, they wash out images of evereything else. quarter phase(half moon) moons are very impressive, the rings of saturn are good crowd pleasers, as are the moons, stripe and big red spot on jupiter.
Thanks for the information. Just had a brief look at the lightpolutionmap you linked above. Looks like a pretty useful tool! Thanks.
 
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mikeD1Esel

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Contributor I

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Oahu, Hawaii
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Michael
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DeSerio
if you ever can get your hands on a pair of NVGs looking up at the night sky is unbelievable. I was on the big island of Hawaii and when I looked up, I cannot describe how incredible it looks.
 
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Road

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Road
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.
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One of the reasons for moving from Motorcycle to pickup is to be able to carry the telescope and associated equipment to various dark skies. The other is to bring the family along.
I am a beginner astronomer, very much so. One of the trips I am looking at is Big Bend NP or SP for some camping and stargazing.
So, how many of y'all like to look at the stars?
.
Even when in the city and under light domes, I'm looking up to see just how much I can see of the heavens. I learn more and more all the time. Being along the Atlantic coast is nice; to have no light coming from at least one direction.

I don't take a telescope adventuring, though used to have one. I do have my fav binocs with me everywhere, though am interested in what binocs others have found most useful for studying stars. I have the Vortex Diamondback 8x42 (that I see has gone up significantly in price since I got mine) which I use mostly for bird and animal watching, I admit. They go with me everywhere and are always close at hand. I also have a much smaller, less expensive pair of Bushnell 10x25 Compact Folding, that I may have given to my daughter.

What I primarily do in studying the heavens is solo camp way out in the willo-wacks for weeks on end in the borderlands, often with a star guide in one hand, wandering around in the middle of the night, craning my neck and turning in circles, making notes of constellation positions and which ones are rising where, and teaching myself what's coming up next.

Some nights I do that, a lot of other nights it's all camera. There simply isn't much I enjoy better than being alone in the Chihuahuan Desert at night studying the night sky and making images. I honestly haven't been overly concerned with making star map type images of crystal clarity that one can study, though hope to create images that evoke for me the awe and wonder of being out there alone for weeks on end, teaching myself something new.

Here's a few of my favorites, some of which have been posted elsewhere around these forums.

bibelc-190308--1517.JPG
My adventure rig on the border. The Río Bravo del Norte just steps away down a bank.

roaddude_milkyway-over-marathonrv-8570-900.jpeg
Galactic Core, Milky Way

carlightsonrvrrd-5821-pano.jpg
Car Lights Along the River


roaddude_chisospano-frmwestendent-8231-1350.jpg
Chihuahuan Dawn

roaddude_XV2-milkyway-7094-1028.jpg
Milky Way with Jupiter over my adventure rig.


and probably my favorite, because of the way I contrived to light the giant Spanish Dagger Yucca:

roaddude_nightsky-altudapicnic-7731-6x9.jpg
Milky Way Over Spanish Daggers


.
 
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