Photos and observing


Matthew Cook
 

Spent a couple days at Spruce Knob, West Virginia and last night things cleared out just before moonrise. Got a few pictures before getting washed out: zoom in on the dipper to split Mizar, Milky Way bulge in Ophiuchus, opposite side of the MW, looking straight up from our campsite; and then got to try my new 13% moon filter. Few meteors visible and caught one on “film” too. Got maybe 30-45 minutes of good dark skies, with just a little haze from the wildfire smoke from the west coast which you can see affecting the sky just after sunset. Hope to be able to make some local events again here shortly.
Matt Cook


Ian Stewart
 
Edited

Hey Matthew, thanks for the pics. i love Spruce Knob's skies when its clear. Not so much the weather though. I've been to about 10 Almost Heaven star parties and only once ever had a clear week. The thunderstorms can be pretty nasty. That said when its good its great.

Cheers

Ian

On 7/27/2021 6:27 PM, Matthew Cook via groups.io wrote:
Spent a couple days at Spruce Knob, West Virginia and last night things cleared out just before moonrise. Got a few pictures before getting washed out: zoom in on the dipper to split Mizar, Milky Way bulge in Ophiuchus, opposite side of the MW, looking straight up from our campsite; and then got to try my new 13% moon filter. Few meteors visible and caught one on “film” too. Got maybe 30-45 minutes of good dark skies, with just a little haze from the wildfire smoke from the west coast which you can see affecting the sky just after sunset. Hope to be able to make some local events again here shortly.
Matt Cook




jimcoble2000
 

Though I have never observed from Spruce Knob, I suspect it is outstanding. I have seen the skies Near Greenbank WV and they were the second most dark skies I have experienced, It was so dark I could not see my car 30 feet away. The darkest was from a blacked out ship in the middle of the ocean. Down to the horizon stars that stretched to infinity overhead (no exaggeration). It was the only time I felt like that dust speck adrift in the entire universe.

That said good company can make up somewhat for bad skies if the star party is liberal enough. In some spots though bad weather can make a star party like a reenactment of Andersonville.

On Thursday, July 29, 2021, 8:56:24 AM EDT, Ian Stewart <swampcolliecoffee@...> wrote:


Hey Michael, thanks for the pics. i love Spruce Knob's skies when its
clear. Not so much the weather though. I've been to about 10 Almost
Heaven star parties and only once ever had a clear week. The
thunderstorms can be pretty nasty. That said when its good its great.

Cheers

Ian

On 7/27/2021 6:27 PM, Matthew Cook via groups.io wrote:
> Spent a couple days at Spruce Knob, West Virginia and last night things cleared out just before moonrise.  Got a few pictures before getting washed out: zoom in on the dipper to split Mizar, Milky Way bulge in Ophiuchus, opposite side of the MW, looking straight up from our campsite; and then got to try my new 13% moon filter.  Few meteors visible and caught one on “film” too.  Got maybe 30-45 minutes of good dark skies, with just a little haze from the wildfire smoke from the west coast which you can see affecting the sky just after sunset.  Hope to be able to make some local events again here shortly.
> Matt Cook
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Stu Beaber
 

Oh, the memories...I too have seen the sky from the middle of the pacific from a darked ship. With a sky full of stars and it's so dark that when a cloud comes along you can't see the cloud but you can't see any stars where the cloud was.

My second most dark place was my place in Cumberland state park. The park is about 20,000 acres big with parcels of private land mingled in. In '76 I bought 3.5 acres that was so remote there was only a 1 mile dirt path leading to it. I built a cabin there and the energy company had to run several miles of line to get power to my place. The Milky Way cast a shadow there then...but not now. There are now 2 story houses there with big yard lights on tall poles.

Stu


On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 9:08 AM jimcoble2000 via groups.io <jimcoble2000=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Though I have never observed from Spruce Knob, I suspect it is outstanding. I have seen the skies Near Greenbank WV and they were the second most dark skies I have experienced, It was so dark I could not see my car 30 feet away. The darkest was from a blacked out ship in the middle of the ocean. Down to the horizon stars that stretched to infinity overhead (no exaggeration). It was the only time I felt like that dust speck adrift in the entire universe.

That said good company can make up somewhat for bad skies if the star party is liberal enough. In some spots though bad weather can make a star party like a reenactment of Andersonville.

On Thursday, July 29, 2021, 8:56:24 AM EDT, Ian Stewart <swampcolliecoffee@...> wrote:


Hey Michael, thanks for the pics. i love Spruce Knob's skies when its
clear. Not so much the weather though. I've been to about 10 Almost
Heaven star parties and only once ever had a clear week. The
thunderstorms can be pretty nasty. That said when its good its great.

Cheers

Ian

On 7/27/2021 6:27 PM, Matthew Cook via groups.io wrote:
> Spent a couple days at Spruce Knob, West Virginia and last night things cleared out just before moonrise.  Got a few pictures before getting washed out: zoom in on the dipper to split Mizar, Milky Way bulge in Ophiuchus, opposite side of the MW, looking straight up from our campsite; and then got to try my new 13% moon filter.  Few meteors visible and caught one on “film” too.  Got maybe 30-45 minutes of good dark skies, with just a little haze from the wildfire smoke from the west coast which you can see affecting the sky just after sunset.  Hope to be able to make some local events again here shortly.
> Matt Cook
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Matthew Cook
 

Yep, middle of the Atlantic on a warship at night is as good as I’ve seen (1997 saw Hale-Bopp) with so many stars it’s breathtaking.  Ocracoke on a good fall night is a close second (so many stars hard to make out constellations and the MW did still cast a shadow), followed by Spruce Knob.  But still always about the weather…smoke, humidity, etc. means we’re always rolling the dice.


On Jul 29, 2021, at 10:00, Stu Beaber <wd4sel@...> wrote:


Oh, the memories...I too have seen the sky from the middle of the pacific from a darked ship. With a sky full of stars and it's so dark that when a cloud comes along you can't see the cloud but you can't see any stars where the cloud was.

My second most dark place was my place in Cumberland state park. The park is about 20,000 acres big with parcels of private land mingled in. In '76 I bought 3.5 acres that was so remote there was only a 1 mile dirt path leading to it. I built a cabin there and the energy company had to run several miles of line to get power to my place. The Milky Way cast a shadow there then...but not now. There are now 2 story houses there with big yard lights on tall poles.

Stu

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 9:08 AM jimcoble2000 via groups.io <jimcoble2000=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Though I have never observed from Spruce Knob, I suspect it is outstanding. I have seen the skies Near Greenbank WV and they were the second most dark skies I have experienced, It was so dark I could not see my car 30 feet away. The darkest was from a blacked out ship in the middle of the ocean. Down to the horizon stars that stretched to infinity overhead (no exaggeration). It was the only time I felt like that dust speck adrift in the entire universe.

That said good company can make up somewhat for bad skies if the star party is liberal enough. In some spots though bad weather can make a star party like a reenactment of Andersonville.

On Thursday, July 29, 2021, 8:56:24 AM EDT, Ian Stewart <swampcolliecoffee@...> wrote:


Hey Michael, thanks for the pics. i love Spruce Knob's skies when its
clear. Not so much the weather though. I've been to about 10 Almost
Heaven star parties and only once ever had a clear week. The
thunderstorms can be pretty nasty. That said when its good its great.

Cheers

Ian

On 7/27/2021 6:27 PM, Matthew Cook via groups.io wrote:
> Spent a couple days at Spruce Knob, West Virginia and last night things cleared out just before moonrise.  Got a few pictures before getting washed out: zoom in on the dipper to split Mizar, Milky Way bulge in Ophiuchus, opposite side of the MW, looking straight up from our campsite; and then got to try my new 13% moon filter.  Few meteors visible and caught one on “film” too.  Got maybe 30-45 minutes of good dark skies, with just a little haze from the wildfire smoke from the west coast which you can see affecting the sky just after sunset.  Hope to be able to make some local events again here shortly.
> Matt Cook
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