Light Pollution and lack of backyard ranges

This is a discussion on Light Pollution and lack of backyard ranges within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Light Pollution Map USA I grew up in the country of the upper midwest - and I do mean country. 10 miles from a town ...

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Thread: Light Pollution and lack of backyard ranges

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    Light Pollution and lack of backyard ranges

    Light Pollution Map USA

    I grew up in the country of the upper midwest - and I do mean country. 10 miles from a town of 1200 people. I could hear a car approaching from two miles away on a still day. My shooting range was my backyard - 10 acres surrounded by endless wheat fields.

    I could look up in the sky and see the Milky Way at night (I had 20/20 vision back then).

    Today I live in large metro area. I can see the moon, Venus, and maybe the North Star on a good night. And if I use my backyard for a range, I'll be thrown in jail.

    To all you members that live in "the sticks" where you can see the night sky, I want to remind you how good you have it. After the sun goes down on your backyard shooting range, take some time and look at the Milky Way.

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    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    How right you are! Where I live if you want a streetlight at your location you must pay for it yourself. I choose the night sky instead. With the continual encroachment of development, I expect the time is not far off when I'll be forced to pay for a streetlight near my property "for my own safety". Strange how folks move to the hinterlands to get away from all that city stuff, and then work to institute it in the rural areas.

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    Farmer Timmy loves having his own land.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and Ió
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

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    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    The only benefit of light pollution is it helps you learn your stars and constellations much easier without all that background clutter. If you're a navigator.....

    I was riding my bicycle out west a few years ago (Seattle to Tampa, yeah, 4600 miles in 80 days) when the Perseids hit in August. Utterly unbelievable. I couldn't sleep that night for missing the show. There were colors, there were fragmentations, there were meteors that disintegrated into luminescent gas clouds that hung in the sky, some seemed to slow down or speed up. i kept count and recorded 30 in 10 minutes. Fantastic....
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    The Milky Way at 10,000 feet, in the sticks out here, with 5-10% relative humidity is usually so clear you can reach out and touch it..............
    Richard

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    "But if they don't exist, how can a man see them?"

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    Senior Member Array yz9890's Avatar
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    for those of you in or near Louisville KY, the Louisville Astronomical Society owns 40 acres of "dark space" in Crawford County Indiana (about an hour drive from Louisville). they've got a retractable roof observatory with a 16" reflector, a class room, 3 acres of camping area, restrooms etc. very nice. membership is cheap. they have tons of activities at the Crawford site as well as in Louisville. you don't even need to bring or have a telescope. the members love to help people learn about and enjoy the stars and will happily share their telescopes or teach you how to use your own. the people there are a lot like most of the people you meet at a shooting range. ready to learn and ready to teach. great family fun as well as great resources for the serious enthusiasts and astro-photographers.

    http://www.louisville-astro.org/

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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    Light Pollution Map USA

    I grew up in the country of the upper midwest - and I do mean country. 10 miles from a town of 1200 people. I could hear a car approaching from two miles away on a still day. My shooting range was my backyard - 10 acres surrounded by endless wheat fields.

    I could look up in the sky and see the Milky Way at night (I had 20/20 vision back then).

    Today I live in large metro area. I can see the moon, Venus, and maybe the North Star on a good night. And if I use my backyard for a range, I'll be thrown in jail.

    To all you members that live in "the sticks" where you can see the night sky, I want to remind you how good you have it. After the sun goes down on your backyard shooting range, take some time and look at the Milky Way.
    I enjoy it as often as I can. There was a lake that I would camp at awhile back that was 70 miles away from anything in any direction. You wouldn't believe how nice that was. I wouldn't move into the city for anything in the world.

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    Senior Member Array txron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    The Milky Way at 10,000 feet, in the sticks out here, with 5-10% relative humidity is usually so clear you can reach out and touch it..............
    Went camping with my daughter and some other Dads and daughters. After we put the kiddos to bed, we were out enjoying the night and we could see the miky way a bright as could be. One of the dads said he had never seen the milky way. I felt very sad for him.

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    For those who have been out in the middle of the ocean at night, you realize that with no other light sources, there are actually stars from horizon to horizon.

    Being up on 'look out' with the 'big eyes' (very large mounted binoculars), it can be quite the temptation to occasionally scan the heavens.
    thephanatik likes this.
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    Member Array catt101's Avatar
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    Went camping in Monument Valley a few weeks ago with my 11 yo son.
    The sky was amazing! e even got to see 5-6 "shooting stars"!
    Here in KC, we have a pretty good observatory (although it has been moved once sue to encroaching light pollution). But nothing like the show we had there!!!
    Can't wait to move into the country! way, WAY out in the country..

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    Member Array Dono's Avatar
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    I'm taking my wife to the east side of Cozumel in a couple of months just to show her that starry skys like she sees on Survivor really exist.

    Donnie

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    About the clearest I can recall was at the top of Half Dome in Yosemite NP, on a clear night. It was clear enough to see satellites zipping by with the naked eye, reflecting off the sun (which had set a few hours earlier). The "clouds" of the Milky Way were stunningly bright.

    Something like this ...
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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    I have a few acres outside of Pittsburgh, and on a good night, I can faintly see the milky way. A lot of the neighbors have security lights, but I can still see everything clearly. Cherry Springs, in northern PA, is supposed to be the darkest spot in the state, and lots of amateur astronomers go there to escape light pollution.
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    Member Array leecheater's Avatar
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    You are so right , I just came in from my outdoor range and I thank god for it everyday. Hope fully tonite I can hear a wolf howl under the milky way '

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    The lights are getting worse here as houses get closer together, but I am still able to do some shooting in the back yard. I stay away from my long guns here, but I do fire the handguns often enough that the new neighbors from the city are probably annoyed.

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