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Thread: Space and astronomy

  1. #26
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    I was excited too, RBW. I planned to watch from my yard in South Florida. I can't see the actual launch from down here, but I can watch the rocket arc through the sky and it thrills the hell out of me. Watching an actual launch is on my bucket list though, we're thinking of driving up tomorrow.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

  2. #27
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    I was excited too, RBW. I planned to watch from my yard in South Florida. I can't see the actual launch from down here, but I can watch the rocket arc through the sky and it thrills the hell out of me. Watching an actual launch is on my bucket list though, we're thinking of driving up tomorrow.
    We can't see the actual launch either, but can see it pretty quickly afterwards. I have not seen a rocket launch up close, but right after we moved here we drove over and saw a space shuttle launch on my birthday. My husband kept telling me not to get disappointed if it didn't go-that they never go when they are scheduled. This one went right on time and he was surprised. I told him they knew it was my birthday and didn't want to disappoint me. There is nothing like feeling the launch in your chest as you watch it light up and take off. Definitely something that should be on a bucket list!

  3. #28
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.accuweather.com/en/space...of-july/767326

    Stick around after July 4th fireworks to view a celestial show

    The sun, Earth and moon will align on Saturday night, giving skywatchers around the globe a chance to see one of the top astronomical events of the month.

    On the night of July 4, the full moon will pass through part of Earth’s shadow, creating a lunar eclipse that will be visible across North America and South America. This will be the first lunar eclipse visible from this part of the world since 2019. People in some places in Africa and western Europe will also be able to see part of the eclipse.
    There are three types of lunar eclipses: a total lunar eclipse, a partial lunar eclipse and a penumbral lunar eclipse. Saturday night’s event will be the latter of the three.

    In a penumbral lunar eclipse, the moon passes only through Earth’s outer shadow, called the penumbra, and misses the darker inner shadow, called the umbra.

    “This third kind of lunar eclipse is much more subtle, and much more difficult to observe, than either a total or partial eclipse of the moon,” EarthSky explained on its website. “At best, at mid-eclipse, very observant people will notice a dark shading on the moon’s face.”

    This is vastly different from a total lunar eclipse when the moon goes completely dark and can even take on a deep red or rusty orange color.

    People of all ages can see the event -- no telescope required -- but knowing what time to look up is key.

    The eclipse will get underway on July 4 at 11:07 p.m. EDT and continue until July 5 at 1:52 a.m. EDT, but the best time to look will be during the middle of the event.

    The shaded corner of the moon will be most evident around 12:30 a.m. EDT, just about mid-eclipse, before the moon gradually drifts out of the Earth’s shadow.

  4. #29
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    I'm trying to make this thread a thing even though everyone ignores it.

    https://www.travelandleisure.com/tri...id=36687650913

    Skywatchers are in for a surprise treat this month thanks to a comet very few people saw coming.

    On March 27, astronomers first observed a dim little comet flying by our planet using NEOWISE, or Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, a space telescope launched by NASA more than a decade ago, EarthSky explained. The astronomers cataloged the comet as C/2020 and didn’t think much of it at the time as it was nowhere near bright enough to be visible to the naked eye. But, after surviving a flyby approach to the sun, it seems as though the comet is boomeranging back toward Earth and is already bright enough in the sky to be viewed with the assistance of simple binoculars.

    Hot off the presses! Caught my first glimpse of Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) from Bloomington, Indiana early this morning,...
    Posted by Zolt Levay on Sunday, July 5, 2020

    “Hot off the presses! Caught my first glimpse of Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) from Bloomington, Indiana early this morning, just as it was rising above the trees and dawn was beginning,” astrophotographer Zolt Levay wrote on Facebook alongside his images. “Still not a super spectacular comet, but with a bright nucleus and prominent tail. And so far it's much better than the last two comets that were predicted to be knockouts.”

    Truly, C/2020 is surprising just about everyone in the astronomy world. Comet expert John E. Bortle of Stormville, New York told Space.com he’s “amazed” at the comet's performance.

    "Theoretically, the comet shouldn't still be brightening noticeably, as its distance to the sun is undergoing only a small reduction day-to-day at this point, making me think that the comet's current brightness is not being governed mainly by its distance from the sun but, rather it is experiencing some manner of progressive slow outburst," he shared.

    Even the astronauts aboard the International Space Station were excited to spot the comet as it flew by. On Saturday, Russian astronaut Ivan Vagner tweeted a few images he took outside his celestial window.

    During the next revolution I tried to capture the C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) comet a bit closer, the brightest one over the last 7 years.

    Its tail is quite clearly visible from the @Space_Station!#ISS #comet #NEOWISE pic.twitter.com/FnWkCummD6
    — Ivan Vagner (@ivan_mks63) July 4, 2020

    “During the next revolution I tried to capture the C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) comet a bit closer, the brightest one over the last 7 years,” he wrote. “Its tail is quite clearly visible from the @Space_Station!”

    According to Space.com, the comet could become even more visible in the evening sky starting on July 12. That is when it will appear low in the northwest sky and will continue to climb even higher in the following days. On July 22, the comet will make its closest approach to Earth for another excellent viewing opportunity. On July 25, the comet will appear some 30 degrees up from the west-northwest horizon just after the sun sets, creating the potential for excellent comet spotting.

    If you have any interest in seeing the comet now really is the time to make an effort. According to EarthSky, C/2020 might not be visible from Earth again until the year 8,786.

  5. #30
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    I'm not ignoring it, this stuff fascinates me and I read it all. I'm just don't know enough about it to actually add anything to the thread. But I put the dates into my calendar so it will remind me to look skyward!
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

  6. #31
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    I'm not ignoring it, this stuff fascinates me and I read it all. I'm just don't know enough about it to actually add anything to the thread. But I put the dates into my calendar so it will remind me to look skyward!
    Ok, you and me will keep this thread afloat and maybe eventually someone else will wander in to see what we are doing in here!

    https://www.travelandleisure.com/tri...id=36812470721

    A Total Solar Eclipse Is Coming in Late 2020 — Here's Where It Will Be Visible


    In less than six months, the 2020 total solar eclipse will cross Chile and Argentina.

    This year, we've seen incredible supermoons and a "ring of fire" eclipse, but this is a truly unique celestial event. While those of us in the United States won't be able to see this eclipse in person, folks in Chile and Argentina will have the chance to view this incredible astronomical event from lakes, hot springs, and one of Chile's most active volcanoes. Plus, with options to livestream the eclipse, we can all enjoy the magic of this natural phenomenon from the comfort of our homes.

    To fully experience the eclipse, you must stand within the path of totality — the moon's central shadow — which will be about 56 miles wide. On December 14, 2020, the path of totality will stretch across the Chilean Lake District and Argentina’s northern Patagonia region. It will begin at 1 p.m. local time on the west coast of Chile and end at 1:24 p.m. local time on the east coast of Argentina. The maximum eclipse will occur south of Neuqu?n, near Sierra Colorada, and last 130 seconds.
    2020 Total Solar Eclipse vs. the "Great American Eclipse"

    In many ways, this eclipse is going to be similar to the 2017 eclipse in the U.S. The duration of totality will be roughly the same, and the 2020 total solar eclipse will take place high in the sky, as seen from both Chile and Argentina. In fact, it will be as high as 70? in the daytime sky, which is great for eclipse-chasers. Looking at an eclipse low in the sky is far riskier because there's a higher chance of having your sight line blocked by a horizon cloud.
    Viewing the 2020 Total Solar Eclipse in Chile and Argentina

    Those in Chile and Argentina will have the chance to view the total solar eclipse from several beautiful locations. Puc?n on the eastern shore of Lake Villarrica in the Chilean Lake District and Volc?n Villarrica (an active volcano) are among the destinations where the eclipse will be visible in Chile.

    However, in this part of Chile, there’s around a 50 percent chance of clouds blocking the view, while across the Andes in Argentinean Patagonia, there’s just a 30 percent chance of that occurring. Piedra del ?guila, Sierra Colorada, and Las Grutas are among the optimal viewing locations in Argentina.
    When is the next solar eclipse?

    On December 4, 2021, there will be a total solar eclipse in Antarctica. So how about seeing nature’s greatest spectacle while touring nature’s greatest environment? It’s sure to be a popular — if expensive — experience. If Antartica is out of your budget, know that there is no total solar eclipse in 2022, and in 2023, there will only be a super-short total solar eclipse visible from a remote part of Western Australia.

    The “Greatest American Eclipse” will occur on April 8, 2024, when an even better four-and-a-half-minute totality crosses Mexico, the U.S. (from Texas to Maine), and the Atlantic coast of Canada.

  7. #32
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm fascinated by planets and space and astronomy, etc., but I find solar eclipses underwhelming. The earth just gets a little gloomy and nothing much happens. Plus, I'm always tempted to peek because.... jeezus, it's a solar eclipse so something must be happening up there, right?

    I did find this hilarious after the last big solar eclipse though:

    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

  8. #33
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Found this while browsing all things celestial tonight, and I have signed up to be alerted when the International Space Station flies over my house. PM only, it flies over at oh-dark-thirty too. I NASA for giving me the choice to opt out of the AM notifications.

    https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/home.cfm
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

  9. #34
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    Found this while browsing all things celestial tonight, and I have signed up to be alerted when the International Space Station flies over my house. PM only, it flies over at oh-dark-thirty too. I NASA for giving me the choice to opt out of the AM notifications.

    https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/home.cfm
    I used to do this via email, back in the old days. It's cool you can now get texts. Supposedly you can also get notified to see Elon's satellites fly over, but I haven't found it. Granted, I didn't look too hard, so I probably need to go back and look again. They fly over in a big line and it's supposed to be kind of cool. Of course, the flip side is that his satellites are messing up the night sky view.

  10. #35
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.travelandleisure.com/tri...id=37102886437

    Five Planets Will Be Visible in the Sky This Week — Here's How to See Them


    Have you ever really seen the Solar System with your own eyes? We’re all used to seeing pictures in textbooks of the eight planets all lined up in a row, starting with Mercury and ending with Neptune (or Pluto, which was de-throned as a planet in 2009), but very rarely do we actually get to see a line of planets in the night sky at the same time.

    That’s what’s happening this week as all five planets visible to the naked eye — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn —appear simultaneously.

    Although you’ve probably glimpsed Venus or Jupiter before, this is a great chance to see a few planets at the same time.

    It’s going to take a bit of effort because only those willing to rise early — really early — on Sunday, July 19, 2020 will get to see the planets. You won’t need a telescope unless you want a close-up of each.
    How to Find Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars

    About two hours before sunrise, you’ll be able to see Jupiter sinking in the southwestern sky with Saturn, the ringed planet, just above to the right. Trace a curved line going through both planets and into the southern sky, and you’ll hit Mars, the red planet, high above the southeastern horizon.
    How to Find Venus and Mercury

    Mars is at the peak of the ecliptic — the line we always see planets orbiting along — so trace its curve down to the horizon in the northeast. Before you get there, you’ll easily spot the super-bright planet Venus. It’s one of the brightest objects in the night sky. Mercury is always tricky to see, and you have to get your timing right; it will rise in the northeast 45 minutes before sunrise as seen from New York City. You’re looking for a small, red dot, and it will help if you have a pair of binoculars. With any luck, you may even see it accompanied by a very slender crescent moon just to its left.

  11. #36
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Are you going to arise two hours before daybreak to find them? There's a lot of light pollution here, I doubt I'll be able to see them. And, of course, I'll be sleeping so.....
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

  12. #37
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    Are you going to arise two hours before daybreak to find them? There's a lot of light pollution here, I doubt I'll be able to see them. And, of course, I'll be sleeping so.....
    Sometimes I am up that early depending on my husband's schedule. Some days he has to go to work before God gets up. I am NOT a morning person though.

  13. #38
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Has anyone seen the comet? The weather here hasn't really cooperated, but I want to see it.

  14. #39
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Crap, I forgot. That was this morning, wasn't it? And I was AWAKE!!!!

    ETA: Wait. That was the planets we had to wake up early for. When is the comet? So confewzed....!
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

  15. #40
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    Crap, I forgot. That was this morning, wasn't it? And I was AWAKE!!!!

    ETA: Wait. That was the planets we had to wake up early for. When is the comet? So confewzed....!


    The comet has been ongoing for a couple of weeks now. Check the 4th post down on this page for viewing specifics. I really want to see it!

  16. #41
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.travelandleisure.com/tri...id=37872379861

    All the Meteor Showers, Astronaut Launches, and Celestial Events Happening This August

    August 3: Full Moon

    August’s astronomical events kick off with the full moon on August 3. This moon is known as the “Sturgeon Moon,” named for the abundance of the fish — North America’s largest freshwater species — found in the Great Lakes this time of year.

    August 11–12: Perseids Meteor Shower

    The annual Perseids meteor shower, one of the biggest celestial events of the year, starts on July 17 and runs through August 26, but it’ll reach its peak on the night of August 11 through the morning of August 12. The Perseids are known for producing bright meteors as often as 200 times per hour. To view the shower, simply get as far away from light pollution as you can, let your eyes adjust to the darkness, then look up with the naked eye. Even if you live in a particularly light-polluted area, you might still be able to see some of the brightest meteors, so take a glance up no matter where you are!

    August 13: Venus at Greatest Western Elongation


    Venus, the brightest object in the sky after the sun and the moon, will reach its greatest western elongation on August 13. Simply put, that means Venus will be as far west from the sun as it can be within the context of the sky: 45.8 degrees from it, to be exact. The planet will rise in the eastern sky just before dawn, which means you may be able to view it in conjunction with the Perseids.

    August 14: Virgin Orbit's ELaNa-20 Launch

    Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit is scheduled to launch 10 cubesats (mini satellites) via its LauncherOne rocket as part of the ELaNa-20 mission for NASA on August 14. Rather than launching vertically from the ground as many rockets do, LauncherOne is deployed midair from the belly of a Boeing 747 named “Cosmic Girl.” For this launch, the plane and rocket will take off from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port. A test flight in May 2020 — which ultimately failed to see the rocket reach space — was not live-streamed, but it was live-tweeted by Virgin Orbit, so stay tuned to find out how you can experience this launch.

    August 17: Kappa Cygnids Meteor Shower


    Though a very minor meteor shower compared to the Perseids, the Kappa Cygnids will take place from August 3 to August 25, with its peak occurring on August 17. You might only be able to see about three meteors per hour, but the good news is that light conditions are favorable (read: the skies will be extra dark) with a waning moon.

    August 26: United Launch Alliance’s NROL-44 Launch

    On August 26, the United Launch Alliance will launch mission NROL-44, sending a classified U.S. satellite into orbit via a Delta IV Heavy rocket for the National Reconnaissance Office. The mission will lift off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, putting on a show for those along the state’s Space Coast.

    August 30: SpaceX Crew-1 Launch


    Following SpaceX’s successful Demo-2 launch in May, the spaceflight company might be launching its first official crewed operational mission, designated Crew-1, as soon as August 30. The Crew Dragon capsule will be launched via a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, as well as astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), to the International Space Station (ISS). It’ll almost certainly be live-streamed, and those along the Space Coast in Florida will be able to watch the launch firsthand.

    August 31: Aurigid Meteor Shower

    Another minor meteor shower, the Augurids will run from August 18 through September 7, with a peak on August 31. It’ll be a bit more productive than the Kappa Cygnids, with approximately six meteors per hour, though it won’t be nearly as robust as the Perseids.

    TBD: Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken Return to Earth

    Flown to the ISS via SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule in May, marking the first time a commercial spaceflight company has sent humans into orbit, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will likely return to Earth in August, perhaps as early as August 2. The Crew Dragon capsule will splash down somewhere off the coast of Florida in what will be another landmark event: it’ll be the first time astronauts will land in the water since 1975. We expect the landing to be live-streamed by NASA and SpaceX, so be sure to check their websites and social media profiles for more information as a return date is finalized.

  17. #42
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/12/us/ar...scn/index.html

    Arecibo Observatory featured in James Bond film "Goldeneye" shut down

    The famous observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, featured in the James Bond movie "GoldenEye," has been forced to temporarily close after a broken cable smashed through the side of its massive dish.

    Around 2:45 a.m. Monday, a three-inch auxiliary cable that helped support a metal platform broke, according to a news release from the University of Central Florida. UCF manages the facility alongside Universidad Ana G. M?ndez and Yang Enterprises, Inc.

    When the cable broke, it created a 100-foot gash in the telescope's 1,000-foot-long reflector dish, according to UCF. It also damaged about six to eight panels along the observatory's Gregorian Dome, which is suspended over the reflector dish.

    The broken cable also twisted a platform used to access the Gregorian Dome, making damage assessment even more difficult.

    "The folks at the facility are working with engineers and other experts to asses and secure equipment at the facility," Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala, UCF Office of Research and College of Graduate Studies' assistant vice president for strategic communications told CNN. "That started (Tuesday) and is continuing through this week."

    Gonzalez Kotala says they are hoping to have more information at a media briefing on Friday.

    The telescope has been an integral part of a number of scientific discoveries since it opened in 1963. It was made even more famous in popular culture when it was featured in the 007 movie, "Goldeneye" in 1995.

    Arecibo Observatory has survived a number of hurricanes, even earthquakes.

    "Through it all, the facility has continued to contribute to significant breakthroughs in space research in the area of gravitational waves, asteroid characterization, planetary exploration and more," the UCF release said.

  18. #43
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    This is about a week late, BUT.....

    I got a text notification about the ISS cruising over my house, so I dragged my husband outside to watch it, not really sure what I was looking for. TBH, I spend a lot of time looking up at the sky and wondering what's out there. I did see the space station that night, and realized that I have seen it many times before. It looks like a big airplane with all white lights - none of them blinking or flashing, and it moves quite fast (17,000 mph!). I have sat and watched it on my mother's deck numerous times and wondered aloud about it, only to be told it's an airplane taking off or approaching Philadelphia. Yeah, I didn't think so....
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

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    Seeing the comet was cool. And for the first time I saw the milky way with the naked eye. Cool shit.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by S281Saleen160 View Post
    Seeing the comet was cool. And for the first time I saw the milky way with the naked eye. Cool shit.
    Dark sky viewing areas are so magnificent. I had no idea you could see so many stars with the naked eye until I went to an area out by NASA on the coast where there are no lights for miles.

  21. #46
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S281Saleen160 View Post
    Seeing the comet was cool. And for the first time I saw the milky way with the naked eye. Cool shit.
    I'm disappointed I missed that.

    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    Dark sky viewing areas are so magnificent. I had no idea you could see so many stars with the naked eye until I went to an area out by NASA on the coast where there are no lights for miles.
    There is a Dark Sky Park near our home in SW Scotland. I never knew there were that many stars in the universe. It was breathtaking and mind boggling at the same time. There were stars on top of stars on top of stars.... and I felt like I could reach out and touch them.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

  22. #47
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    I'm disappointed I missed that.



    There is a Dark Sky Park near our home in SW Scotland. I never knew there were that many stars in the universe. It was breathtaking and mind boggling at the same time. There were stars on top of stars on top of stars.... and I felt like I could reach out and touch them.
    I don't know if it's an official Dark Sky Park, but Merritt Island is amazing! We went over there to kayak during the day with the manatees, and then at night to kayak in the bio bay. I know what you mean about feeling like you could reach out and touch them! I couldn't decide if the water or the stars were more breath taking!



    (not my picture, but this is what it looked like)

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    Dark sky viewing areas are so magnificent. I had no idea you could see so many stars with the naked eye until I went to an area out by NASA on the coast where there are no lights for miles.
    It was amazing shit no doubt. We were at 12,000ft up at the continental divide on a night with a new moon. So many stars and shooting stars, crazy. My dumb ass was wondering why I couldnt see all the colors of the milky way. Seeing that comet was cool too.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by S281Saleen160 View Post
    It was amazing shit no doubt. We were at 12,000ft up at the continental divide on a night with a new moon. So many stars and shooting stars, crazy. My dumb ass was wondering why I couldnt see all the colors of the milky way. Seeing that comet was cool too.
    I would love to have seen that! I tried and tried to see the comet but it's been too hazy out here with storms and smoke from wild fires.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    I would love to have seen that! I tried and tried to see the comet but it's been too hazy out here with storms and smoke from wild fires.
    Seeing space like that got me, I want to buy a telescope. I never thought stargazing would be fun.

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