Observational places in/near Prague

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blackhaz
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #1 od blackhaz » 30. 07. 2006, 21:51

Dobry den,

I do not speak Czech yet, but I'm learning. :) I am currently living in Ukraine but occasionally may find myself in Prague. When I was there last time - there was so many lights - it is so bright and beautiful!

I am just wondering - are there any dark skies left near Prague? How far do you usally go out in search of a moderate-dark sky for your DSO observations?

Thank you in advance!

PS: Also just wanted to ask if it's polite or correct to reply or comment in other forums on astro-forum.cz in English. I can understand Czech but can not write yet.
My projects: http://trafyx.com/

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michal.b
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #2 od michal.b » 31. 07. 2006, 02:53

Hi,
welcome to our forums.

Yeah, Prague at nigth surely is beautiful, but not so much for deep-sky observer :-/ There is a map of sky brightness in our coutry that you may find helpful:
http://www.astro.zcu.cz/svetlo/skylight-i08-mapa-sv-znecist-CR.jpg

Some of the dark-blue places (that usually means better than mag. 6 skies) are less than hour of driving from Prague. I believe our Prague members will recommend you some good sites.

Also, feel free to post in English anywhere on astro-forum.cz, we are glad to see people from abroad here :)

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blackhaz
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #3 od blackhaz » 31. 07. 2006, 03:09

Wow, thanks, Michal!

That's a great map - right what I was looking for. Here in Dniepropetrovsk I live inside a light pool so can see mag 3 maximum from my place. Still a good place to watch planets, but DSOs - you know.. However, I have a naval container on the ground, approx 30 km from the centre with mag 6 skies. That's where I store most of my bigger astronomy stuff. Still can't name it observatory as it has no roll-off roof or dome, so it's kinda of stock-a-tory. ;D But anyways I got used so much to this kind of observation when I can just drive to the site, get the scope out and start observing so easy (EQ6 is a monster to move each time). I would definately love to achieve the same in Prague proximity some day.

I wonder if people here practice the same with, maybe, their rural houses (villas)?
My projects: http://trafyx.com/

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michal.b
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #4 od michal.b » 31. 07. 2006, 03:54

Hehe, our local club in Pilsen had a old railway carriage at the observing site, so I know exactly what are you talking about ;D
Lot of people here (including astronomers) have a cottage in the countryside, so it is quite common to use it as a observing site.
Our family have had a weekend-house in a small village near German borders. When I was a child, the skies here were pristine, unfortunately, few years ago they built a new motorway with BIG parking only two kilometers away and the light pollution is getting worse every year >:(

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Myzer
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #5 od Myzer » 31. 07. 2006, 05:42


blackhaz napsal: Dobry den,

I do not speak Czech yet, but I'm learning. :) I am currently living in Ukraine but occasionally may find myself in Prague. When I was there last time - there was so many lights - it is so bright and beautiful!

I am just wondering - are there any dark skies left near Prague? How far do you usally go out in search of a moderate-dark sky for your DSO observations?

Thank you in advance!

PS: Also just wanted to ask if it's polite or correct to reply or comment in other forums on astro-forum.cz in English. I can understand Czech but can not write yet.

Nice to see you here in our astroforum! :)

There are few observing sites with dark sky in Czech republik or Slovakia (limiting magnitude above 6,5). Most of the places are however often located near cities and villages, so the light pollution is quite distinct. :(

The best observing site is probably located in the northeast of Slovakia, near Poland and Ukraine borders. I don´t know, if someone made observation there, but some people plan make a trip in the future.

By the way, I am interesting about dark observing sites in Ukraine. Can you write me here some interesting links? Eventually about deep-sky objects, observing or observers in your country. In accordance with light pollution maps and in my opinion, Ukraine must have many sites with excellent sky.
http://www.astronom.cz/astropo/ - Visual deep-sky observing&&Kontakt na Skype: myzer16

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MaG
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #6 od MaG » 31. 07. 2006, 05:50


michal.b napsal: There is a map of sky brightness in our coutry that you may find helpful:
http://www.astro.zcu.cz/svetlo/skylight-i08-mapa-sv-znecist-CR.jpg

Some of the dark-blue places (that usually means better than mag. 6 skies) are less than hour of driving from Prague. I believe our Prague members will recommend you some good sites.

Hi, don´t forget, that this map not include elevation factor as good as necessary. For example, I live in Jablonec nad Nisou (northern Bohemia near Liberec), my place where I observe is on "A" in word "Jablonec" on this map. So I live in yellow area. But I have mag 6 sky! Second - in yellow area are Jizerské hory too (NE from Jablonec) and here we saw 6.5 often...

But ok, you must go out of Prag above all :) I think here in forum are many people from Prague. Some of them drive to Beroun and south of them observe.. or other places have. Look at "pozorovací stanoviště" here:

http://www.astro-forum.cz/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=mista;action=display;num=1141935613

http://www.astro-forum.cz/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=mista;action=display;num=1118532407

http://www.astro-forum.cz/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=mista;action=display;num=1115724338
Martin Gembec, Astronomické události
Celestron SCT 6"+CG5 GT Adv., ED80/600+Vixen 0,67x, Canon 30Dmod, 20x80+10x50

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Pavuk_
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #7 od Pavuk_ » 31. 07. 2006, 15:30


MaG napsal:

Hi, don´t forget, that this map not include elevation factor as good as necessary. For example, I live in Jablonec nad Nisou (northern Bohemia near Liberec), my place where I observe is on "A" in word "Jablonec" on this map. So I live in yellow area. But I have mag 6 sky! Second - in yellow area are Jizerské hory too (NE from Jablonec) and here we saw 6.5 often...

But ok, you must go out of Prag above all :) I think here in forum are many people from Prague. Some of them drive to Beroun and south of them observe.. or other places have. Look at "pozorovací stanoviště" here:

http://www.astro-forum.cz/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=mista;action=display;num=1141935613

http://www.astro-forum.cz/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=mista;action=display;num=1118532407

http://www.astro-forum.cz/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=mista;action=display;num=1115724338

Yes, that's true.
Map at http://www.lightpollution.it/download/euromini.jpg is very useful but it given't enough info about real conditions. If you are looking for better observing place, you need to use another map (from collection of maps of Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute, www.lightpollution.it ).

See here: http://www.lightpollution.it/dmsp/totbri.html
(instead of http://www.lightpollution.it/dmsp/artbri.html )

There is minor problem (what a surprise :) ). The map was calculated for ~1999 and natural sky brightness 21.6 mag.arcsec-2 (MSA). Now it is near to 22 MSA. It is due to solar cycle (solar minima and quiet activity). You must subtract (I think) 0.4 MSA from original map to accomplish nowdays situation.

See also the FAQ: http://www.lightpollution.it/worldatlas/pages/faq.html

Well, I think that Ukraine has excellent skies at many places. Have you some experience with 7+ skies there ? (for many observers here, you live at country of "countless stars" ::) )

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blackhaz
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #8 od blackhaz » 31. 07. 2006, 16:52

Thank you for your comments, gentlemen!

Here in Ukraine there are lots of good observational places, although my eye myopia does not allow me to detect the limiting magnitude preciesly enough, thus I've ordered an SQM to measure the sky. Here in Dniepropetrovsk, there's a place called Balovka where I have my container. It's pretty dark and I am happy with it, however certainly there's an LP on the horizon coming from nearby Dniepropetrovsk and Dnieprodzerzhinsk. People who live in our capital - Kiev - are often going out to observe at Pilipovichi. There's where an old national comet searching station is located and the skies have to be pretty dark there. So far I haven't heard Kyiv people going elsewhere. In Crimea peninsula, there are loads of places such as Nauchny village where Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (KrAO) is located - one of the largest observatories in Europe (if I can call Ukraine a Europe ;D). There's an annual festival in Crimea called "Southern Nights". In 2005 it took place in two locations - first RT-22 - the largest radio-telescope site in Simeiz and then the KrAO. A very interesting photo report is available at http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=141.0
There's on page 2 is the photo-review of all the telescopes installed in KrAO. The astroclimate should be very good there although I haven't had a chance to visit that place yet - maybe this year. The one can book an individual excursion or just live nearby the KrAO in the tents (that's allowed) to observe with his own equipment.

I believe there should be an extremely good skies in Carpathian mountains as well as I see no big cities or other LP sources nearby. I do not have the link of the LP map but will try to find something.

:)
My projects: http://trafyx.com/

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Pavuk_
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #9 od Pavuk_ » 31. 07. 2006, 17:34


blackhaz napsal: Thank you for your comments, gentlemen!

Here in Ukraine there are lots of good observational places, although my eye myopia does not allow me to detect the limiting magnitude preciesly enough, thus I've ordered an SQM to measure the sky.

Very good idea. I have one and it's really magic box ;) which allow to exactly estimate sky darkness.
I have 21.15 in my backyard located at western Slovakia :) Not bad value 60km from capital city of Slovakia ;)
I think your future measurements will be bellow 21.6 8) I am very curious to your future measurements.

At eastern Slovakia (15km from Ukraine borders) we have very good conditions (21.3-21.5) at Kolonica observatory.
There is the darkest place at Slovakia near borders with your country.


Here in Dniepropetrovsk, there's a place called Balovka where I have my container. It's pretty dark and I am happy with it, however certainly there's an LP on the horizon coming from nearby Dniepropetrovsk and Dnieprodzerzhinsk. People who live in our capital - Kiev - are often going out to observe at Pilipovichi. There's where an old national comet searching station is located and the skies have to be pretty dark there. So far I haven't heard Kyiv people going elsewhere. In Crimea peninsula, there are loads of places such as Nauchny village where Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (KrAO) is located - one of the largest observatories in Europe (if I can call Ukraine a Europe ;D). There's an annual festival in Crimea called "Southern Nights". In 2005 it took place in two locations - first RT-22 - the largest radio-telescope site in Simeiz and then the KrAO. A very interesting photo report is available at http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=141.0
There's on page 2 is the photo-review of all the telescopes installed in KrAO. The astroclimate should be very good there although I haven't had a chance to visit that place yet - maybe this year. The one can book an individual excursion or just live nearby the KrAO in the tents (that's allowed) to observe with his own equipment.

Is is really interesting forum (your link). Nice people and starparty 8)



I believe there should be an extremely good skies in Carpathian mountains as well as I see no big cities or other LP sources nearby. I do not have the link of the LP map but will try to find something.

:)

We plan some trip to eastern Poland (again near to border with Ukraine :) ). Maybe next year, because after month we are going to astro trip to La Palma at Canary Islands (to meet with unpolluted pristine sky). It will be first time in my life, when I see truly dark sky.


VK
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #10 od VK » 31. 07. 2006, 17:47


blackhaz napsal: Dobry den,

I do not speak Czech yet, but I'm learning. :) I am currently living in Ukraine but occasionally may find myself in Prague. When I was there last time - there was so many lights - it is so bright and beautiful!

I am just wondering - are there any dark skies left near Prague? How far do you usally go out in search of a moderate-dark sky for your DSO observations?

Thank you in advance!

PS: Also just wanted to ask if it's polite or correct to reply or comment in other forums on astro-forum.cz in English. I can understand Czech but can not write yet.

There is a possibility to visit or cooperate with the Observatory of Slaný (http://www.volny.cz/hvezdarna), relatively near Prague. The main telescope of the observatory has 50 cm diameter.
The director Mr. Jaroslav Trnka is a very cooperative man. If Slaný is not enough dark for deep-sky in your opinion, he can suggest next places with dark night sky in central Bohemia.

V. K.

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blackhaz
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #11 od blackhaz » 31. 07. 2006, 18:22

Pavuk, I doubt I'll reach 19 - but who knows. :D Still waiting for the SQM to arrive to do some objective measurements.

VK, thanks a million for the info! You all guys have left a good deal of hope in myself to continue observations while I'll be in Prague.

Hopefully I will make it to get some inexpensive property outside of the city to store the gear - a container possibly? (I wonder if that's safe to leave the gear in a container outside of the city?) or maybe even a very small house (we call them dacha's here in Ukraine). I just can't imagine myself with being locked in an urbanistic light-polluted sky. Observing brings so much happiness to me and my wife! I also hope that I will be able to assimilate in the Czech society. My kind of business now makes me to move to EU to be closer to my customers and that changes the life style a lot. Ohh.. So much ahead!

Once again thanks to all of you for giving me hints and for all your welcomings. :)
My projects: http://trafyx.com/

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michal.b
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #12 od michal.b » 01. 08. 2006, 03:34


blackhaz napsal:
Hopefully I will make it to get some inexpensive property outside of the city to store the gear - a container possibly? (I wonder if that's safe to leave the gear in a container outside of the city?) or maybe even a very small house (we call them dacha's here in Ukraine).

This is a good idea, however, the safety heavily depends on the location. Container/cottage on a remote place far from civilization (well, that's relative here in central Europe, there is always at least a small town within 20km :) ) can be quite safe if it is well locked and secured and nobody is aware of its existence. Another good solution is to buy a property/house in a small village (with little LP) and ask neighbours to keep an eye on it. The least safe locations are recreational areas that attracts attention of criminals (both thiefs and vandals).

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blackhaz
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #13 od blackhaz » 01. 08. 2006, 04:49

Thank you for the hints, Michal. :)
My projects: http://trafyx.com/

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blackhaz
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Observational places in/near Prague

Příspěvek #14 od blackhaz » 14. 04. 2007, 17:54

By the way SQM has arrived and I was able to get 21.64 measuring at best at my observing place 30km away from Dniepropetrovsk. So if anybody would ever be in Ukraine - you are very welcome to my site for observing. :)
My projects: http://trafyx.com/


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