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I am a Chicago resident who is just getting interested in astronomy. I would be interested to hear about any good observation spots around the Chicago area. And of course any regular sessions you guys have.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Sept 2, 2009 0:32:52 GMT -6
Welcome to Urban Astronomy.
It's a misconception that because of all the light pollution, that nothing can be seen.
This is false.
It's all still there...just takes some more work to find and enjoy them. All the major targets, (Moon, planets, comets, nebulae...) can easily be observed with modest equipment. With my kick-around 4.5" reflector, all these are within reasonable range. With bigger scopes, they are brighter and will take higher magnification.
Just about anywhere in the city is as good as any other spot, but I enjoy the lakefront area...particularly by the Adler. I like the ambiance there.
Here is a graphic on the observation sites I use in the area....
Chicago parks close at 11:00pm, but now that the fall is approaching fast, it means earlier observation times. I have some other "less traveled" sites, and accessed thru Chicago Astronomer invitation.
Currently now, the ISS & Shuttle are passing nicely in Chicago skies...and the Chicago Astronomers plan to catch them....especially on the 8th of Sept - when the pair will make a great high and bright flyover...
Thank you for that info! I bet the viewing down by the lakefront is nice. I live up on the north side, in Andersonville. I just got my first telescope about a month ago - it's one of the Galileoscopes (www.galileoscope.org/gs/) being made as part of the International Year of Astronomy. Pretty dinky, but I got a decent tripod for it, and I've been able to get nice views of the moon on multiple occasions.
Last night, I took a look at www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Yoursky to see what was in the sky, and I found that Jupiter was prominent. So I headed out to the yard and was able to get a clear view of the planet and all four moons. Very exciting!
I plan to be downtown on the 8th anyway, so I will have to come over and check out the ISS. I'll keep an eye on that Twitter feed.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Sept 2, 2009 10:21:52 GMT -6
We are exeperiencing a great High pressure system now...and with it - clear deep skies.
Perhaps I'll organize an impromptu session before the 8th and take advantage this this great weather. Some Lunar observing is long overdue...and I do want to bring o0ut that 8" "sewerpipe" dob that has been sitting around for a awhile.
You are most welcomed to join in...just watch them Twitter feeds...!
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail