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TAC Visual / Re: Dinosaur Point is on again for the fall and winter
« Last post by DDK on October 11, 2017, 05:39:37 PM »
You're right, Smiley, we don't want to be there in the morning. But Casa de Fruta is right down the hill, you could bunk at Casa de Motel.
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TAC Visual / Re: Dinosaur Point is on again for the fall and winter
« Last post by dnsmiley on October 11, 2017, 05:15:26 PM »
What do people do when finished observing, given there is no overnight camping, just pack up and leave? Are there any good places to stay overnight not too far? It would be about a 3 hour drive home for me if I come. Thanks.
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Observing Intents / Re: Dinosaur Point Saturday night, 14 October
« Last post by DDK on October 10, 2017, 09:29:01 PM »
And for a lot of non-grizzled TACos such as Wes Chang, let it be said that Dinosaur Point has good horizons, especially to the South, and the skies can get good and dark there, serious big-kid dark. And it's one of the prettiest stargazing spots around.
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TAC Visual / Re: Dinosaur Point is on again for the fall and winter
« Last post by DDK on October 10, 2017, 06:56:19 PM »
And in the words of Canis Australis, Paul Lefevre, the only way to find out what the conditions are like on a hllltop is to go there and see.

And please do note the OI for Saturday night. Dinosaur Point will be open for observing, starting a new season.
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TAC Visual / Re: Dinosaur Point is on again for the fall and winter
« Last post by mccarthymark on October 10, 2017, 01:47:04 PM »
Probably the further south one is the better.  I check this website for recent satellite imagery of fire smoke when planning an outing in fire season.  Click on the area you want to see then click on one of the image files.
https://fsapps.nwcg.gov/afm/imagery.php
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TAC Visual / Re: Dinosaur Point is on again for the fall and winter
« Last post by dnsmiley on October 10, 2017, 05:47:01 AM »
Hi,

Any idea how Dinosaur Point, Pinnacles or other sites in the general area are likely to be affected by the fires in the North Bay? I have been observing at Lake Sonoma but right now I imagine that site is likely to be very affected by the terrible fires. Any thoughts about sites in the south? Thanks.
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Observing Intents / Dinosaur Point Saturday night, 14 October
« Last post by DDK on October 09, 2017, 08:19:06 PM »
Yep we're set to observe at Dinosaur Point. We definitely have one Gatekeeper there Saturday night, me.
If you don't have these memorized, please look over the regs. As much as any place, we're there as guests. That said, the rangers like us and are glad we're coming back.
Good directions are on our Observing Sites Dino page - http://observers.org/index.php/topic,29.0.html
Do get there before sunset if you want to get in!
>>>
Use Policy
Dinosaur Point is behind a locked gate. Access is only on announced nights. A Gatekeeper must make reservation, be present at all times, and escort observers through the gate.

Upon arriving at Dino's parking area, currently you arrive at another temporary gate at the bottom of the hill that's set up for the daytime boaters inspection. There, you will be asked by a CA Parks ranger to pay the $10 CA Parks use fee, or show your CA Parks annual pass in order to proceed to the parking area.
 
General rules for using Dinosaur Point
  1.. Pay the day-use fee.
   1a .. Please write "Stargazing" in big letters on the envelope we put in the iron ranger, to make sure the money goes to the right place.
  2.. Access to Dinosaur Point after dark is by reservation only. Only Gatekeepers can call the rangers and make reservations.
   a. Send observing requests and questions to DinoGatekeepers at yahoogroups dot com.
   b. Do not post OI's for Dinosaur Point until a Gatekeeper has announced it is available, and his arrival and departure times.

  3.. At least one Gatekeeper must always be present.
  4.. Everyone must be escorted out by a Gatekeeper.
  5.. Observers are not allowed to stay overnight.
  6.. Observers must arrive before sunset.
  7.. Locate the Gatekeeper(s) and introduce yourself when you arrive. Confirm your departure time.
  8.. Be prepared to leave on time or wait for the next scheduled escort to the gate.
         When you are ready to leave, proceed to the SW corner of the parking lot and wait there. At the scheduled time, a Gatekeeper will escort you out.
  9.. Leave the park as you found it. Make sure your area is clean.
 10.. Absolutely no boats allowed in the parking lot after dark.
 11.. No overnight camping.
 12.. Do not call the emergency number posted on the gate unless you are reporting an emergency. The ranger you get out of bed won't arrive for over an hour. Get a Gatekeeper to escort you out.
 13.. If you bring guests, you must ensure that they follow all these rules and procedures.
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Observing Reports / Re: CalStar XVIII, last week
« Last post by DDK on October 06, 2017, 04:52:22 PM »
Here's the bona fide followup on our very own orbital launch. This is from Jonathan McDowell's Space Report #741. He's the astrophysicist who keeps thorough track of space launches.

"A ULA Atlas 5 placed an NRO satellite in highly elliptical orbit on Sep 24. The satellite is thought to host a signals intelligence payload (possibly codenamed RAVEN) and the HEO-4 missile early warning package. The Centaur stage was deorbited after one revolution."

Reports of the launch failing were exaggerated.
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TAC Visual / Re: Dinosaur Point is on again for the fall and winter
« Last post by Jeffcrilly on October 05, 2017, 11:07:08 PM »
Can’t do the 14th, but would like to venture out on the 21st.

-jeff
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TAC Visual / Re: Dinosaur Point is on again for the fall and winter
« Last post by DDK on October 05, 2017, 05:21:20 PM »
Sure thing, Marko. Serious thanks to Albert for turning us onto Dinosaur Point in the first place, and for the mondo work he put in over years and changes to keep our access there. It's a fine observing spot, as you know.
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