I'm NOT seeing stars!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by oldman9x7, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. oldman9x7

    oldman9x7 New Member

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    Are there any astronomers among us?

    I have lived most of my life in Kansas and Illinois and in those years I was always able to find the more common constellations - big dipper, little dipper, Orion's belt, etc. - but since moving to Arizona I don't see any of them.

    I lived on the West Coast for a number of years but I don't remember ever looking at the stars. Might have been because of the fog, ya think? Oh, and I spent several years in the South Pacific during WW II. My favorite viewing there was The Southern Cross - it is beautiful.

    My question is: Is Arizona too far south for us to see my old favorites?
    If so, are there other heavenly figures that I might try to find?

    Gramps
     
  2. ManiacalMadMan

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    and meet the dear man who fell from a star...he fell from the sky, he fell very far and Kansas he says is the name of that star... okay now that I have gotten the Judy Garland/Wizard of Oz feeling out of me, on to your question...
    I figure a good place to get some additional answers (as in addition to those who may provide them here at LPSG) would be to check with any astronomical societies or groups within the state of Arizona. What I done come up with was the following: http://www.astrosociety.org/resources/linkclubs.html and also the Phoenix Astronomical Society at http://www.pasaz.org there are probably lots of other places as well, check with any local colleges or universities to see if they have an astronomy department.
     
  3. Mr. Snakey

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    I lived out in Arizona for a while years ago. I saw everything. Get a telescope. Thats the big sky out there. Simply beautifull:smile:
     
  4. DC_DEEP

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    It could have something to do with light pollution in your location. If you are in or around Phoenix or Tucson, chances are your visibility of the stars will be limited. If you are nearer Flagstaff, or farther out in the "stix", you should have INCREDIBLE star viewing. During my camping trip to southern Utah, the lack of pollution (light and air,) and the thin atmosphere at those altitudes made the stars appear so bright and numerous it just nearly hurt my eyes.

    If you are in one of the more urban areas, do yourself a favor, and drive out to a sparsely populated area to see the stars. Check back with us, I'm interested to know...
     
  5. SpeedoGuy

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    Hello Gramps:

    Considering that Kitt Peak National Observatory is located south of Tucson, I don't think latitude is much limitation on locating interesting celestial bodies. I've toured Kitt Peak and its a very interesting way to spend an afternoon.

    http://www.noao.edu/kpno/kpcam/index.shtml

    As for me, I enjoy casual stargazing on clear nights whenever I find myself in the outdoors. I have a moderately priced pair of Celestron binoculars mounted on a Bogan photography tripod (for steadiness during viewing). I get a kick out of looking at the craters of the moon, the crab nebula, the pleiades, the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter.
     
  6. oldman9x7

    oldman9x7 New Member

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    As Lawrence Welk used to say, "Thanka you boyce."

    I live in Yuma which is southwest of Tuscon. I also am in an area without a lot of street light saturation. I've begun to think that my problem is that I don't know where to look (other than up - duh!).

    I take it that y'all think that I SHOULD be able to find the Big Dip and others. Right?

    Gramps
     
  7. oldman9x7

    oldman9x7 New Member

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    This IS "big sky country", Uncut. Most days there isn't a cloud to be seen anywhere and that's true of nighttime too. BTW our temp here today is 104 degrees. What is it your area?

    Gramps
     
  8. SpeedoGuy

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  9. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    The Belt of Orion is just about exactly on the celestial equator, which means it's visible from everywhere on the Earth's surface (though not year-round). In winter it should be hard to miss from Arizona. And of course from anywhere from the equator north you should be able to see the northern circumpolar constellations, such as both Dippers (or both Bears, if you prefer) in any season.

    Maybe it's age. Vision - or perhaps perception - changes with age. I was 40 before I could see the stars in color by naked eye. Or of course location. In MA I recall only one night ever of really excellent seeing, with even dim stars visible all the way down to the ground. Here it's usually pretty hazy within 20 to 30 degrees of the horizon.
     
  10. DC_DEEP

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    Another good point I was about to add, b. d. At my last eye exam, my doc told me that he sees the earliest signs of cataract formation, even at my tender young age of 47. It must be due to all the sun exposure I got while in the military (couldn't wear shades while in uniform...) Something to think about, gramps.

    And yes, elevation also has a considerable effect. In Yuma, you can't be too far away from some higher elevations. It may not be convenient to drive somewhere to see the stars, but maybe you could do it occasionally. Higher elevation = thinner atmosphere = better viewing.
     
  11. oldman9x7

    oldman9x7 New Member

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    Thanks, Big D and DCdeep,

    You brought up the question of vision and it happens that when I first moved here I had an eye exam which revealed cataracts it both eyes. Hence I submitted to surgery and have had lens replacement in both eyes. I have to tell you though, that I don't think my vision was improved all that much by the procedure. There's probably a little problem with the macula or whatever. I think any and all problems, including my age, are age related.
    Thanks again for your suggestions.

    Gramps
     
  12. Hatched69

    Hatched69 Member

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    Pick up the latest issue of "Playboy"......plenty of "heavenly figures" in those pages! :biggrin1:
     
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