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Old 06-11-2019, 05:14 AM
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strongmanmike (Michael)
Woohoo it's clear

strongmanmike is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Canberra
Posts: 14,863
True Bortle 1 sky observing

I just came across This PHOTO by Hisayoshi Kato and it made me reminisce my recent experience under true dark skies.

After nearly 40 years involved in astronomy, astrophotography and observing, I only very recently finally observed all the features captured in Kato's image and which had previously only been myths. At the end of August/start of Sept this year, I was spending 4 days at a mates observatory 3hrs drive west of Cairns, out in the savannahs of far northern Queensland Australia. The skies out there are black and genuine Bortle 1 with an SQM of 22+. The Gegenschein was easy to see, like a faint but obvious ball shaped patch, as was the fainter zodiacal bridge that connects the Gegenschein to the Milky Way and the Eastern horizon and visible in Katos was truly spectacular. It was like having two Milky Way's in the sky at once, a bright one and a faint one perpendicular to it! Early each night, when the centre of the Milky Way was overhead, it lit up our observing pad like a night light and our bodies and hands etc cast very obvious shadows and the Zodiacal light in the west at the start of each evening extended right up to the Milky Way and was so bright that we avoided observing galaxies in Virgo for fear of them being washed out! It is truly spectacular when you are under genuine perfect dark skies!...something that many people never get to took me until age 52 to finally witness it.

Another excellent shot by Petr Horaleck shows well what it all looked like overhead to my eyes!...minus the colour in the Milky Way of was truly spectacular and something I will never forget.

Thanks Tim

Last edited by strongmanmike; 06-11-2019 at 05:28 AM.
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