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Thread: Katahdin Woods and Waters declared a Dark Sky Sanctuary

  1. #16
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Island in the Sky section of Canyon Lands National Park in 2016.

    Stayed at Willow Flats campground as far into the park as you could drive for several days. There, both day and night vistas were breathtaking.

    While we were there an astronomer from Texas arrived towing a full blown mini observatory in a cargo trailer. He was hunting for super novas.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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  2. #17
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Almost everywhere out west besides the major metro areas. Especially where you can see all the way to the horizon for 360 degrees. My sister lives in Jackson Hole and the night sky there is absolutely unbelievable. I've never seen the milky way as stunning as out there.

  3. #18
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I was going to mention the Milford but I went on the guided version and they kept the hut lights on fairly late while I think the self guided huts you went to didn't have power systems.
    And we hung out with the hut caretakers, who had their own place a bit further away from all the hikers with headlamps. After sitting out there for an hour or two with our eyes adjusted to the dark it was amazing. I've never seen the Milky Way so clear and prominent.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  4. #19
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Climbing in the Waddington Range of British Columbia was pretty darn dark.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  5. #20
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    It's nice we have some pretty dark sky here in the Adirondacks.

    Darkest sky I've seen was in various camps going up the Khumbu Valley in Nepal. Above Namche, there's very little artificial light. And even in Namche, when I was there in '92 there were no light switches. The whole town came "on" (courtesy of low head hydro) at 6 PM, and went "off" at 10 PM. After 10, it was really dark.

  6. #21
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    On a trip to Utah a few years ago we cowboy camped at the Price Canyon Recreation Area, near Helper, UT. The moon set early and the sky was spectacular to sleep under. Really one of the best parts about cowboy camping is when you wake up in the middle of the night to the endless expanse of stars.
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  7. #22
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    My wife and stepson had never seen the Milky Way or even a starry sky, having always lived in the big city. On a trip to Yellowstone we were driving back to our lodging after dark, and I stopped the car in the middle of nowhere. They were astounded seeing the dark sky filled with stars and the Milky Way for the very first time.

    I always love reaching 4,000 meters (13,100 feet) for the darkest of night and the brightest of stars. The best is getting so far back that there are no street lights or car headlights visible in the distance. Total night dark everywhere. It is hard, though, to find those places because even far away cities and towns cast a faint glow on the horizon.

    I have a fine memory of bivouacking on one of the western states high points. I awoke at 4am to start the climb. One of the few times I have seen a shadow cast by a planet, which was Venus in this case. I once noticed the extremely faint shadow cast by Jupiter.

    When I was young, I used to be able to discern the Horse and Rider, two stars close together which constitute the middle star in the handle of the Big Dipper. Historically, they were used as a test of excellent vision. When I reached High School I started wearing glasses and was no longer able to resolve the pair. Since then the only way to see them is by using binoculars.

    The stars and constellations are familiar friends, signposts, points of reference that help me maintain situational awareness. In the daytime I frequently check the sun and moon, trying to ascertain the time without checking a watch. And of course they help in navigation when the map is tucked away in the pack.

    One of the main reasons I go into the backcountry is for the views. Until now I hadn't realized how much I appreciate the nighttime sky.
    散步 Sanbu

  8. #23
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    North Wadliegh Pond primitive campsite in the Namankhanta Wilderness ME best stars Iíve eve seen 💕
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  9. #24
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Sounds good. The ability to see the Milky Way and other dim features is getting rarer and rarer these days. I was looking up at the sky from a dark spot in Twin Mountain a few years ago and had trouble recognizing familiar constellations due to all the "extra" stars...

    I've taken up astrophotography in the past few years and mostly shoot from my backyard (NE Boston suburbs, Bortle 7 or 8=lots of light pollution, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bortle_scale). I have also shot from dark locations in the Adirondacks and Maine (Bortle 3 or less) and the difference is dramatic.

    One advantage (perhaps the only advantage...) of the current shutdown is less air and light pollution. My home skies are darker than usual.

    Doug

  10. #25
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanbu View Post
    ...When I was young, I used to be able to discern the Horse and Rider, two stars close together which constitute the middle star in the handle of the Big Dipper. Historically, they were used as a test of excellent vision. When I reached High School I started wearing glasses and was no longer able to resolve the pair. Since then the only way to see them is by using binoculars.

    The stars and constellations are familiar friends, signposts, points of reference that help me maintain situational awareness. In the daytime I frequently check the sun and moon, trying to ascertain the time without checking a watch. And of course they help in navigation when the map is tucked away in the pack.
    Another classic test of vision and sky darkness is discerning the seven stars in the The Pleiades (Seven Sisters). It's also the Subaru logo!! If you can see all seven stars distinctly you enjoy sharp vision and a dark sky.

    This web site is great for getting info about what's visible in the night sky from most any location. Just enter a date, time and city near you and the sky charts are localized to that data. Very cool.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
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  11. #26
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    I'm partial to heavens-above.com for what is visible, including not just natural astronomical objects, but also satellites and prediction of Iridium flares. I like to have an exact time of a flare in my pocket when I am guiding a group, then arrange a night hike while I subtly point to that portion of the sky without explanation when a flare is about to bloom bright enough to cast a shadow for a few seconds as some do. "How did you do that?"
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

  12. #27
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    Dark skies as a regulatory thing?? really? One can see dark / milky way on a fall / winter evening in se costal CT.

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