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Old 09-09-2007, 01:49 PM
 
12 posts, read 46,908 times
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Any amateur stargazers in RTP area? I'm relocating there from a suburban area where I don't suffer too much light pollution for skywatching. Are there recommended areas in RTP that are further away from light pollution for better stargazing?
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Old 09-09-2007, 02:12 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
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here is a place that caters to your needs

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
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Old 09-09-2007, 02:39 PM
 
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We don't use our telescope here at our house in Durham simply because we have too many mature trees! We just can't see enough of the sky.

Here is the website for the local astronomy club. They should be able to give you some good info.
Raleigh Astronomy Club

The people at Big Bang Astronomy Shop in Raleigh should be able to help you, too.
Telescopes Raleigh NC - Big Bang Astronomy Shop
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Old 09-09-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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Funny you mentioned this. Next weekend we are going to Jordan Lake for some star gazing. My brother is a big star gazer and he says that it's hard just because the sky isn't that big here. There are too many trees! So he goes with a group of people I believe to the Ebenezer point (I am not exactly sure what they call it) at Jordan Lake with their telescopes. Maybe he goes with one of the groups listed in the previous posts. But it isn't light pollution, it's the "tree pollution" that makes star gazing hard.
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Old 09-09-2007, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
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Morehead Planetarium has some star gazing expeditions and some of them are to Jordan Lake. See the link above.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Having lived in Flagstaff, AZ for a while with incredible stargazing in town due to properly shielded and spaced street lights, I can say that Raleigh has far too many street lights. Driving down many of the major roads, it seems there are at least twice as many street lights as necessary. Not only does this bother me from a light pollution standpoint; it seems quite wasteful from an electricity use perspective as well.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp_az View Post
Having lived in Flagstaff, AZ for a while with incredible stargazing in town due to properly shielded and spaced street lights, I can say that Raleigh has far too many street lights. Driving down many of the major roads, it seems there are at least twice as many street lights as necessary. Not only does this bother me from a light pollution standpoint; it seems quite wasteful from an electricity use perspective as well.
Flagstaff may not be a good comparison. The air there is very dry, so light doesn't reflect back to the ground. In Raleigh, it's always so humid (especially at night) that any amount of light lights up the sky.

However, I think it would be great if they simply turned off street lamps after midnight (think of the electricity saved too!). Unfortunately, I'm probably in the minority on that opinion.
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:03 AM
 
Location: The 12th State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbognar View Post
Flagstaff may not be a good comparison. The air there is very dry, so light doesn't reflect back to the ground. In Raleigh, it's always so humid (especially at night) that any amount of light lights up the sky.

However, I think it would be great if they simply turned off street lamps after midnight (think of the electricity saved too!). Unfortunately, I'm probably in the minority on that opinion.
It would be a nice idea but then we would get more threads like these
Why no street lights?
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Flagstaff is not a great comparison due to the climate differences, however the difference in number and intensity of the streetlights, regardless of climate, is alarming. Turning off all streetlights is not an option as there is certainly a safety factor to consider.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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We live in Western Orange County and the stars are often quite visible out here. We often head down the street to Maple View Dairy and lie down in a pasture (after, of course, looking for cow patties)

And yes, Jordan Lake is a great place to stargaze. We viewed the Leonids meteor shower at 3 am a few years ago there. We were amazed to encounter a traffic jam on Farrington Rd in the middle of the night! Afterwards, a group of us headed over to Elmo's Diner in Carrboro to grab some breakfast.
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