I think the reason I was so exhilarated was that this view is just a quarter mile away from where I live. How many observers today live where they can actually see the Milky Way from their house? (Ted, you need not answer)
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I'm going to look up some facts on the Bortle classification system because I'm leaning towards believing that my morning site is a yellow zone in the summer. Half of Blacksburg's population is college students, so I've noticed in the summer that the skyglow from Blacksburg is significantly less.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, William McLean <preciousmyprecious@...> wrote:
It is worth shedding a tear over! I get choked up all the time with the beauty of our heavens.
From: nranderson_deepskyobserver <nranderson.deepskyobserver@...>
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2012 3:11 AM
Subject: [backbayastro] Perfect transparency = stupendous Milky Way!
Not to spam you guys with another observing report...but THE MILKY WAY LOOKS ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING RIGHT NOW!!! I just took a study break to go outside and check on the stars and I think it's the best I've ever seen it here! After realizing I could faintly make it out from the front of my apartment, I biked to one of my observing sites and the view was almost worth shedding tears over! Even with the skyglow from nearby Christiansburg, it was easily visible from Cassiopeia to almost-Scorpius with a mottled appearance. The Great Rift was undeniable. This is probably also the best unaided eye view I've had of M8. With averted vision I could actually detect its oblong shape for the first time!
Just thought I'd share. It's a shame I couldn't be out all night observing like I usually would have.