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Observing worldwide


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Hi SGL, from the point of view of the climate here in the uk, it has been a pretty poor year.

Had I the option I'd definately move from the uk, but were to go. I like the idea of somewere like Sri Lanka, I remember Athur C Clark being based there and had said it was a great place to view the nightsky.

Any other options? I know just about anywere else would be a start:glasses1:

Alan

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Sub Saharan Africa - outside of the rainy seasons pretty much every night is clear

If you can get to the towns without mains power - zero light pollution - and the night sky view is quite spectacular!

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I worked there for 5 years (up to 2 years ago) - its not bad now just very very very expensive!!! (also has the lowest rate of HIV prevalence in Southern Africa)

And the 12 year old's don't have AK47's anymore :)

If you can get into the interior the skies are awesome, if based near the capital light pollution will kill most viewing off!

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Out back Australia is brilliant (I live there) but for the last few months we have had much more cloud cover than usual. We look straight down the arm of our galaxy so there's always lots to see. Once out of the cities there is very little or in most cases no LP at all. :)

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I like the idea of somewere like Sri Lanka, I remember Athur C Clark being based there and had said it was a great place to view the nightsky.

The tropics can be very rainy and cloudy. I don't think Arthur C Clarke chose Sri Lanka primarily for the night sky.

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Where they build big telescopes;

Hawaii (but you need to be up the mountain)

Chile (you need to be in them atacama desert)

Arizona (probably the best option -- if you want to have a life during the day)

Morocco is apparently good, up in the atlas mountains. And I believe Khazakstan has favourable weather conditions for observing too.

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Where they build big telescopes;

Hawaii (but you need to be up the mountain)

Chile (you need to be in them atacama desert)

Arizona (probably the best option -- if you want to have a life during the day)

Morocco is apparently good, up in the atlas mountains. And I believe Khazakstan has favourable weather conditions for observing too.

Arizona has a "monsoon" season during the summer IIRC. I also spent a week at one of the astronomy sites in New Mexico in October one year - got a whole 2 and a half nights observing. :( the rest of the time was clouded out.

There are some nice locations in Namibia I'm told. Basically, anywhere there's a desert would be a good place to start looking - though they can have their own problems with dust in the air.

There is a fine balance however - you want no LP and that means few people, which also means few houses, shops, hospitals, roads, poor/non-existent internet & phones. But too much of being cut-off from civilisation will turn you into a hermit.

Edited by pete_l
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I have heard that the Sahara in Egypt is particularly good for observing due to the low amount of light pollution when away from the towns and cities, and also the dry climate which discourages the formation of clouds like here in the UK.

I suppose like what others have said regarding deserts that there may be problems with sand and other small particles getting in and interfering with the optics and moving mechanical bits, the extreme daytime and night-time temperatures might also affect the telescopes in some way such as thermal shock and large amounts of expansion and contraction, cool down times might be an issue as well because the temp plummets quite rapidly after sundown and tube currents might plague you for hours.

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I have heard that the Sahara in Egypt is particularly good for observing due to the low amount of light pollution when away from the towns and cities, and also the dry climate which discourages the formation of clouds like here in the UK.

Yes, like you and others have mentioned Tom, the sand would be a disaster:eek:

Alan

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Yes, I live in Bahrain, I can confirm the sand (dust, it is not sand it is brown talcum powder) is a huge problem and it gets everywhere! The heat and humidity in summer is also a huge problem... 35 centigrade at 02:00 in August! I won't even mention the LP, I think these people invented it :(

The skies are generally "clear" and you will not see a cloud from May to October, probably 300 clear nights per year. But the sky is so full of dust, moisture and turbulence forget Deep Sky. Lunar is good and Planetary OK in winter.

The best skies I have seen (as stated by Aussie Skywatcher ) are the West Australian Out Back, simply stunning!.

Flores in Indonesia was also good when I was there but forget the tropics, far too much heat/cloud/humidity and Mozzies!

Closer to the UK, the Canary Islands, get away from the resorts though!

I have almost completed my roof top observatory here and I will post some pics in DIY Astronomer very soon.

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I would love to be in Antarctica, apparently it's the best place to observe meteor showers and I would imagine the skies are very clear. :(

kelly

I should think the more or less constant aurorae (and six-month daylight) would make visual deep-sky impossible, though I believe the very dry air is of interest to infra-red astronomers. Don't know about meteor showers but it's a good place to find meteorites (any bit of rock sitting on the ice is pretty conspicuous).

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I should think the more or less constant aurorae (and six-month daylight) would make visual deep-sky impossible, though I believe the very dry air is of interest to infra-red astronomers. Don't know about meteor showers but it's a good place to find meteorites (any bit of rock sitting on the ice is pretty conspicuous).

acey,

Yes I forgot to mention how wonderful the aurora would be. Shame about the meteor showers though, I'd always hoped to go and observe the persied meteor shower there one day when I'm older. But those meteorites sound like something to look forward to. I wouldn't live there though can you imagine the cold, I complain enough as it is.

Kelly :(

Edited by vesper
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I've lived and worked in 22 countries over the last 27 years.

My list of good sky locations include, Botswana ( where I am now ), Malawi, Oman, Bosnia ( outside the cities / towns ), Lebanon ( up in the mountains ) and Serbia - again away from the cities and main towns.

Places to avoid as far as the night sky conditions are concerned, Jakarta, KL, Manila, Dhaka, Kiev, Yerevan, Moscow.

In regard to easy living ( Quality of life, cost of living, standard of living ) for a Brit expat, Serbia, Malawi, Botswana.

Difficult places include but not limited to Chad, DRC ( Goma however has a good night sky), Bangladesh.

Best Regards

Carl

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