Late Winter Trip to Berlin-Icthyosaur State Park

Late in February, I, for the 1st time, drove to this little park near Gabbs, NV. Andy Dierenga had tipped me in on a couple of camp spots there that are ideal (yes ideal) for astronomy, and I left with some apprehension as to what I might find. It is a fairly long drive…about the same length as that to Adin, California, but the reward is sharp stars and zero light pollution.    

I took Clifford, the Labrador and budding dog-astronomer, to campsite #13; we were the only inhabitants of the park, except for the park ranger, that week. The campground is RV and pet friendly, well maintained, and fully equipped with guided tours and talks (during the summer), drinking water, trash receptacles, and restrooms. The location affords fairly short walks to nearby peaks and the Ichthyosaur fossil enclosure, and a short drive brings you to Berlin, a mining town of the beginning of the 20th century. A DSLR astrophotographer, I lucked out to go here at this time of the year because sensor ‘noise’ decreases with temperature, and the ambient temperature ranged from 40-50 at night and 60-65F during the day during this trip.

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Category: Other Members

A Convenient “Grab & Fly” Telescope Setup

A Convenient “Grab & Fly” Telescope Setup

(Reprinted with permission from Tom Koonce of The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club.)

Have you ever headed out on a long trip and wished that you could do a little star-gazing once you arrived at your destination? But perhaps you have thought about the logistics of traveling with a telescope like…

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Category: Other Members

One member's opinion of where to establish an observatory

One member's opinion of where to establish an observatory

Re: BLM land coming up for renewal of lease, August 2013

Hi ASN members. I finished reading a newsletter for the Reno Radio Control Club for August 2011. In the body of the text there was a paragraph describing where they are in touch with the BLM to renew their lease. The terms of the lease, I believe, are $1 per year for 10-15 years at a time. They have had good luck with the location, as they are able to basically do what they want with regards to improvements and they are able 'to get away with' $100/year membership dues to use the facilities.…

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Category: Other Members

The Lunar Eclipse 2011

On December 10thseveral ASN members gathered at the Planetarium at 5am to watch the Lunar eclipse. While the morning was cold, the sky was clear and perfect for watching the eclipse. At around 6am the general public began arriving. In all we had approximately 20 people show up. We were…

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Category: Other Members

Wine Country Astronomy

Wine Country Astronomy

Hi ASN members! I just returned from a week in the Napa/Sonoma Valleys of California. Here, the temperate weather, plentiful water, and rich soil produce the more complex (that knowledge cost me $15 and an hour for the tour) varieties of wine. It also is an area where the 'seeing' is very good due to laminar flow off the Pacific ocean.

I had searched for a camping spot in this area because the hotels were full in the last weeks of July, and by accident, I came upon the Sugarloaf regional state park, located just southeast of Santa Rosa. Here there is the Robert Ferguson Observatory, and a full service (read hot showers) public campground. I arrived to find a very well maintained campground and large observatory facility (it was closed to the public when I was there). The surrounds were full of beautiful trees, grasses, and the deer were everywhere. I estimate the temperature during the evening is about 65 degrees.…

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Category: Other Members