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Hello from Colorado

22 Jan, 2019 02:41
I've been working on reducing light pollution and protecting dark skies for the past 7 or 8 years as part of the [U.S] National Park Service's Night Skies Program.  I've had a strong interest in astronomy and photography since I was a kid but no real experience in lighting or light pollution, so this new field  presented  a challenging learning curve.  I finally bought a scope in October and dove into astrophotography so that I could better understand the importance of the resource I was working to protect.  So now I have some "skin in the game" as they say.  I have a lot to learn but I've been having a blast!  I've already learned a lot by checking out all of the amazing posts at Astrobin.  For all of you (and that includes me) trying to collect photons through class 7, 8 or 9  skies, know that there are dedicated  people out there far more smart and talented than myself (thankfully) trying to make things better - or at least keep things from getting too much worse.

For more info, here's a link to our website:    NPS Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division

Clear (and dark) Skies!

Edited 22 Jan, 2019 02:43
22 Jan, 2019 09:32
Hi Frank,

glad you've joined us. Good to know that there are people fighting light pollution! Keep on!

CS from germany,
22 Jan, 2019 16:40
Hi Frank!

Thanks for doing what you do! I had the opportunity to enjoy some great dark skies in your state near Great Sand Dunes NP in 2017. I'll take a WILD guess by your Astrobin name and sky report that your somewhere near Fountain, CO?

Anyway, best wishes and welcome!
  NW Lower Michigan (Bortle 3.5, lol)
22 Jan, 2019 23:20
Hi Frank,

Glad to hear you took the plunge. I am a fellow Colorado astrophotographer taking most of my images out of Longmont, Co. Occassionally I can find the time to travel to a dark site. Let me know if you are ever in the area.

Eddie Hunnell
23 Jan, 2019 20:53

I'm actually a little further north in Fort Collins.   I agree the skies around Great Sand Dunes are impressive.  The town of Westcliffe, just on the other side of the Sangre de Christo mountains from the park is a Certified Dark Sky Community. I love that part of the state and the night skies are big part of the reason.

Thanks for the welcome.

23 Jan, 2019 20:57
Hi Eddie,

I live up in Ft Collins.  I've been trying to get to the Denver Astronomical Society dark site when I can, but it's a bit of a drive for me. Once the weather breaks this spring, we should try to meet up at Rocky Mountain National Park.


23 Jan, 2019 21:04
Hi Michael,

Thanks!  There's a lot of good work being done in Germany to protect night skies.   I just got back from a conference on light pollution and several of the presentations that involved efforts in Germany to reduce light pollution.


23 Jan, 2019 21:24

That would be great. My email is .  I am a member of the Longmont Astronomical Society. The places we primarily go to are typically:
- Sandstone Park in Longmont - not real dark but a quick evening
- Rabbit Mountain - a little better than Sandstone but still not that dark
- Pawnee Grasslands (Keota, CO) - this one is dark and probably fairly convenient for you (about 1hr and 10 min drive from Ft Collins). I have not been to this one yet. See our web site as there are some very strict requirements about where you go there so we have a specific spot. No astro facilities here.
- Foxpark - Southwest of Laramie in WY. It is 2.5 hrs from Longmont so probably under 2 hours for you. It is very dark and at 9000'. It does seem to be humid there often so make sure you have the appropriate dew protection. No astro facilities here.

24 Jan, 2019 02:39
Welcome! I am also from CO but down in Centennial so I'm always dealing with the Denver lights. The EGK dark site is pretty awesome. You can't beat a place with dark skies, leveled concrete pads with power, a warming hut, observatory, and out house. I try to make it out there once every month or so but kind of hard with little ones around the house.
24 Jan, 2019 03:26
Thanks Eddie.  Those are some great suggestions.

My e-mail is

Let's keep in touch.
24 Jan, 2019 03:35
Hi Thomas.  I agree. The EGK site is amazing! It takes me about 90 minutes to get there from Fort Collins, but it's an easy drive.  I have a Jeep Cherokee and an small refractor.  Hope to see you there sometime.
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