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TAC Visual / Re: Lake Sonoma vs Dino Point vs Pinnacles
« Last post by Marko on October 19, 2017, 04:21:40 PM »
Peter:  Suggest you verify your SQM against 2 other people.   I found with two units so far that they tend to get better and better readings till I realized they were out of cal.   Also note that any dirt or partially blocked sensor gets you 'better' skies.   So I keep black tape over mine and now I always have 22+ readings.   YEAH!
TAC Visual / Re: Lake Sonoma vs Dino Point vs Pinnacles
« Last post by Peter Natscher on October 19, 2017, 03:55:57 PM »
I was observing from Pinnacles West last December 21st.  Had clear skies with a SQM of 21.45.  Another evening at Pinnacles East parked way west into the park towards the mountain ridges near end of road at last parking lot was definitely darker overhead vs. Pinnacles Westr but has poor horizons.  The light domes of the West parking area are not visible at the East location – the surrounding mountains block the light domes and possibly darkening the area. At Pinnacles East, Sagittarius at the meridian was not completely clearing the south mountain tops.  At Dino Pint, I get SQM 21.1-21.3 on different nights.   CalStar gave readings of 21.38-21.57 last month, darker after midnight.  GSSP gave 21.6-21.9 but my SQM device is the narrow angle model and could be reading a bit high.  At GSSP, it gave me a 22.09 reading while pointing overhead into the dark Pegasus square one early morning hour at GSSP after most people had gone to bed!
TAC Visual / Re: Lake Sonoma vs Dino Point vs Pinnacles
« Last post by Marko on October 19, 2017, 01:06:37 PM »
There are 2 Pinnacles so I would like to hear the reply on this thread as well perhaps for both Pinnacles.

As for Dino the horizons themselves are very low with SQM in ballpark of Lake Sonoma but a little brighter at Dino.  The far away but bright light on the Damn does make the east horizon the highest and one tends to put scope on west side of car to minimize darn light distraction when looking into eyepiece.

11 ORs of mine from 2007 through 2012 yield SQM values between 21.0 through 21.3 with 21.15 area being most common  (my sqm broke around then so not sure on recent numbers there).   Only at Lake Sonoma once.

I publish a map of common sites and typical SQMs here:   Has not been updated for a few years.
TAC Visual / Lake Sonoma or Dino Point or Pinnacles
« Last post by dnsmiley on October 19, 2017, 12:42:39 PM »

For those who have been to all three sites how do they compare in terms of darkness and horizons? I've looked at dark sky maps and read ORs on TAC. My impression is Lake Sonoma and Pinnacles might be darker than Dino Point but of course local conditions matter. Trying to decide where to go Saturday the 21st, I've only been to Lake Sonoma which is the closest to me, and hoping the predicted rain will clear it up, but if not will travel south.

:D Cool !
I am ready to buy a eq-platform for my dob ;-)

TAC Imaging / Re: M31 Andromeda
« Last post by Kai on October 18, 2017, 09:25:08 PM »
Jeff, this is very nice M31 !!!

TAC Imaging / Re: M31 Andromeda
« Last post by jeffweiss9 on October 18, 2017, 06:25:04 PM »
I just flipped the orientation from North-Up to North-Down for more aesthetic framing (1 year later).  I know there is no up or down in space but....the question arose:  Which edge of M31 is nearest to us, as a determination of the "correct" orientation?   After querying on CN, this North-Down orientation has M31's nearest edge at the bottom and in the apparent foreground (based on obscuration of the dust lanes in the far edge).  In this orientation, the rotation is CCW  (from another CN response).   I thought TACO's might be interested in that information (after some discussion on CN).
Observing Reports / Re: OR from Pinnacles 10/14
« Last post by DDK on October 18, 2017, 04:33:51 PM »
Those galaxies in the 507 cluster average some 220 million lightyears from here, so about 4 times farther away than the Virgo Cluster. Do pack a lunch.
Observing Reports / Re: OR from Pinnacles 10/14
« Last post by DDK on October 18, 2017, 01:42:01 PM »
Dude, what a night you had. 2 supernovae. And the 507 cluster in Perseus is wonderful. Once upon a time (yeah like 17 years ago) in front of the observatory at the Peak, those scads of galaxies were my first view of things outside of our Virgo Supercluster. As you know they're in the Pisces-Perseus Supercluster,

Hicksons! HGC 10 being right outside the main group of the 507 cluster, I've wondered if they're in the same group. 542 you described in your 20" as vS, eF, no kidding, it was Did Not Find for me in Uncle Albert my then 16" at CalStar 3 years ago. Good scope you have, that sucker is 1.0 by 0.2 arcminutes, vMag 14.7. Urk. There's aperture winning for you.

Hickson 16 I stumbled onto, 10 years ago at Dinosaur Point with Felix my 11". Funny sequence - "Interesting, peanut shape, bright core in each lobe, eastern core brighter (a star?). Nope, another galaxy ..." Hm, peanut-shaped galaxy wait no another galaxy wait a Hickson Cluster! Got the next two a month later, how I missed them that night I cannot tell you. Oh and notably, that next time out was New Year's Day '08 at the Peak on an astro-celebration with Gottlieb the Astro Animal.

Very fun report, McCarthy, thanks buddy!
Observing Reports / Re: 10/14/2017 Henry Coe
« Last post by Kai on October 18, 2017, 12:18:06 AM »

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