Category: dark skies (Page 1 of 2)
Snow mixed with rain all night and all day. Elko Hills (7510 ft./ 2289 m.) looking very wintry. It is still summer! Night time temperatures have been below freezing all week, down to 25 F./-3.8 C. a couple of times. A real challenge to stay comfortable and find things to do.
It has been a challenge to do meaningful stargazing in the trailer park. There is a bright fluorescent light at the restroom a short distance away that illuminates this half of the park. I guess there is a good reason for that. Though better lighting could be installed. I am not the one to advocate for change. Each site also has a low watt light at the electrical hookup. Most of the residents have turned theirs off. But there are a few that do interfere with my darkness. The best that I can do under the circumstances is to find a spot that is shielded both by the truck and the trailer. The Milky Way is just barely visible. So I guess this qualifies as a dark sky site. The restroom light for some reason turns itself off at 430 am while it is still dark. It is about this time that some of my neighbors start leaving for work. Which means their porch lights go on, and of course they have their headlights on as they drive out. I could drive just a short distance away to enjoy better conditions. There is a lot of open land to the north. But is is interspersed with private homesteads. I have chosen not to get up and go out at 1200 o’clock midnight in close to freezing temperatures driving into unknown neighborhoods calling unnecessary attention to myself. So I will be looking forward to just being able to set up camp under truly dark skies and being able to enjoy them with little or no effort. This is just the beginning.
I only want to make you aware of the beauty and the depth that is out here, after you turn off all the distractions. The stars do their own thing, each in its own place, each in its own way. As the day becomes night, the fire in the west becomes a faint glow. The stars slowly appear, each in its own succession of brightness. Tonight Jupiter, of course, is visible before darkness. Then Arcturus, and one by one, the sky is filled with celestial beings. True darkness is attained with the appearance of the Milky Way, arcing over the eastern horizon from Sagittarius to Cassiopeia. Saturn shows up in Ophiucus. It is all here for us to ponder and enjoy. Unfortunately we are being robbed of this precious resource by light pollution.