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Old 12-28-2018, 12:44 AM   #1
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Any other star gazers?

I've always loved to watch the night sky. As I got older, I would try to set calendars for celestial events. Backpack into the high country to watch the Perseids meteor shower at 10K feet on a mountain top. Joined the astronomical society in the area etc now that we are traveling to remote places with open sky we bring the telescope. Any other star gazers here?
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:05 AM   #2
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sky gazing

Love the night skies in dark, high altitude areas. Carry a really good set of binocs right now, but will be buying a good night sky telescope with good rugged case for rv travel.
Going to search out dark sky destinations and try to check out as many as possible.

Cheers
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:32 PM   #3
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I use an app on my iPhone called SkyView Lite. It helps locate objects such as stars, planets, constellations, the Hubble Telescope, and the ISS. Just point your phone at the sky and start panning around.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:22 PM   #4
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I also have been into amateur astronomy off and on over the years, and also carry a telescope where ever we travel in the RV. It is a little 70mm Televue Pronto on a Gibraltar mount that lives under the sofa, quick and easy to set up, nice wide field views, etc.
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:00 AM   #5
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I use the sky view app as well. It’s a lot of fun and easy
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:44 PM   #6
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stargazers

Have a picture of my MH and telescope at an Oregon state star party in 2012. I've been interested in astronomy since 1958 and still but due to a motorcycle accident and crummy weather during the summer and fires the scope hasn't been out in a few years. I did get a smaller classic scope but again the fires kinda dampened my hobby a bit.
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:10 PM   #7
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I have been into astronomy for 18 years. I love the challenge of exploring space. I have an 8" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain. I will take it with me if I'm going to dark areas.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:30 AM   #8
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Tony, I also have an 8 inch Mead SCT (LX200, 2nd generation 18V HP model ), though I rarely haul it around, at the moment it is sitting in its box in the utility room, my wife keeps threatening to throw it away.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:00 AM   #9
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Been going to regional large star parties since 2008. We used a converted 5x8 cargo trailer to haul all the astronomy gear and as a bedroom when we got there. Last May we bought an Arctic Fox 22G that we tow with a GMC 2500HD with a 6.5 foot bed and a Leer cap. The astronomy gear stays in the back of the truck leaving the trailer for camping stuff.

We use aluminum and bubble insulation over all the windows and vent/skylights so we don't leak out any light when camping at astronomy events. I installed 3 red led lights inside the trailer so we can keep our dark adaptation when observing and not leak white light when going in or out of the trailer.

Most of our astronomy camping is off the grid so I installed four 100 amp-hour LiFePO4 batteries, 2200 watt pure sine wave inverter/charger and 985 watts of solar. We will use the site porta-potties on longer trips to extend the use of our tanks for 10 days or more.

We usually bring a TEC140 refractor and a 14.5 inch Dobsonian reflector. We also bring large and small binoculars. We enjoy going to dark places for large star parties and also do trips on our own. We like places that are very dark but also have good daytime hiking options.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:26 AM   #10
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Into it a bit. Bought a used scope. But having troubles with it. ( focus).
need a night or two where it does not get so cold and at least right now itís a dry cold.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:06 PM   #11
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Yep, been stargazing for over 50 years. I have a 12" Meade LX200 classic SCT, a 6" Astrophysics refractor and a 94mm Brandon refractor. Also have an h-alpha solar filter and a Calcium-k PST (P-ersonal S-olar T-elescope for those not familiar. I do some solar imaging in both Calcium-k and h-alpha wavelengths.

The 12" stays set-up in an observatory in my back yard but does travel to a starparty/conference in Eastern Washington State each summer. Been attending that starparty/conference for 30 years. The photos of the scopes were taken there. I sometimes take one of the refractors camping to enjoy the darker skies. This last summer with the planets all lined up in the south, the 6" was the preferred scope. A couple other times I just brought along the 94mm scope because we were camped in the trees and I could carry it out into a open field nearby to watch Mars near opposition. I watched the 2012 Transit of Venus from a campsite in Washington state.

In a year or so, we'll be heading out to full-time, and the refractors will travel with us. I'd love to take the 12" along to get it under some truly dark skies but it's just too big. While I can still set it up by myself, it's right at my current limit to lift onto the tripod, and that ability might not last much longer - it sucks to get old. It would be tragic if I dropped that beast. Besides, it doesn't fit into any of the motorhome compartments, the main scope case rides in the living-room while traveling to the summer starparty. That's OK when I'm by myself, going to and from a week long event, but I can assure you, it will NOT be OK when my wife and I take off to travel the US.

This last year I added a color changing, dimmable 16' LED strip light to the bottom of my awning frame and two foot long color changing LED strip lights to my steps. I can set them to red, and dim the main strip down to help dark adapt while setting up for the evening or while putting packing up for the night. I turn off the main awning light while observing because it's not needed and I want it as dark as possible if it's a moonless night.

Here's a picture from this last summer. My 6" and 12" are on the right behind my Safari, and you can see the 94mm piggybacked on the 12". Included is a close-up of the 12 with the 94. A friend's 6" refractor of a different brand is on the left.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:33 PM   #12
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There a super blood wolf moon Jan 20, 2019.
Yes, I know it's not stargazing, which is getting harder to do every year due to light pollution. I do wonder how it will change the view of constellations and major stars.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:01 PM   #13
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Re: Light pollution.

I have a very pessimistic view on the subject especially now that LED lighting is really taking hold. Up until recently we've been able to counteract some light pollution by viewing through special filters that block the wavelengths from sodium and mercury vapor lighting, but let other wavelengths through. LED lights emit in many more wavelengths so blocking their light blocks the light from the objects we want to view. Plus the blue-white light scatters more in the atmosphere making for more skyglow. I've noticed when I've flown at night even well shielded LED streetlights and parking lot lights bounce a lot more light off the ground and into the sky. Also because LED lighting is cheaper to operate, many municipalities are able to afford to run more of them. To most people, more light is better light. Then there's the fact that the more people who grow up without seeing the stars or the Milky Way in the summertime, the fewer who will miss it. A bright sky will be a normal sky. Stars-schmars, who cares.

Unfortunately, with more and more people Rving, and manufacturers adding LED exterior, sometime just decorative lighting, I'm experiencing more bright lights at the campgrounds I used to visit with my scopes because they were dark. I just recently told my wife I may consider having to make and bring some kind of light shield with us when we hit the road.

Oops, sorry. . . having someone mention light pollution always has me setting my soap box on the back of my high horse.

Ok, grumpy pants mode: "OFF." Positive post mode: "ON."

Ray, viewing the Moon IS stargazing! Although in the amateur astronomer's world a full Moon is a blah Moon, because the time of full Moon the sunlight is coming straight down on the lunar surface. There are no shadows so the Moon's surface looks flat and the full Moon is BRIGHT, especially through a large scope! At other times viewing the Moon through a scope can be awesome. At high power it can like orbiting the Moon and looking out the window of a spaceship. In fact, our local club holds public viewing events during the summer when the first quarter Moon is visible for the simple fact that it looks so cool through a scope. It always gets wows from people who have never seen it before. The only other thing in the sky that gets as many wows is Saturn. It is true that we generally try to view the night sky when the Moon isn't around but that's only because the Moon lights up the sky so much it drowns out all the fainter stuff.
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:12 PM   #14
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Love astronomy! I have an 8" Meade SCT that I deforked and put on a Celestron AVX for imaging. I also use just a standard dslr and lens on the same mount with a guiding system for long exposures (usually 3 to 5 minute exposures). My wife and I are picking up a travel trailer in May, and I'm excited to be able to haul it out to some serious dark skies. First order of business is to install blackout curtains, and red lights.
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