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Canadian By Choice
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MCB, I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a boy of 9, at the time of Sputnik I. I was told that I had poor eyesight and was afraid of heights, and that might make it difficult to be an astronaut. I then wanted to be an astronomer, but was told that my being poor in math and physics, along with poor eyesight, might make it difficult to become an astronomer. Whatever, I still love astronomy.
 

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You can live the dream through your Doxies who can soar into space like a team of little Muttniks!
 

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Canadian By Choice
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"You can live the dream through your Doxies who can soar into space like a team of little Muttniks!" A fine idea, Macfury.
 

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To be out of the light pollution of Toronto and the GTA!

To bad that the University of Toronto is closing the David Dunlap Observatory. I went there once with my Father when I was a child. It is being closed primarily because of light pollution.

When I started my university carrier I wanted to be a Physicist. I didn't succeed. Some of my friends wanted to be Astronomers but they couldn't find work in their field of interest after graduating. Fewer kids these days are interested in the night sky because they can't see any thing. How many members of this forum have seen the Milky Way?

MazterCBlazter & Dr. G. and others, how good is the night sky where you live? Dr. G. must have some issues with the weather in his part of the world!
 

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"Dr. G. must have some issues with the weather in his part of the world!" St.John's does not suffer from pollution, but we do get night fog and mist quite often, as well as lots of cloud cover. Still, light pollution is not a major problem, and when the stars are out they are really out.
 

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If I'm lucky I'll be able to go to my sister's cottage and see the stars this summer. I need to introduce my sons to the night sky.

What are some of your best viewing stories?

Mine is seeing comet Hale-Bopp while flying, mid-Atlantic, from Toronto to London. It was quite a sight.
 

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Canadian By Choice
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I recall going out and looking for Sputnik when I was a boy. That's when I became hooked on space.
 

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The total darkness of an Icefields Parkway Highway lookout point a few km south of Jasper is the perfect perch at high altitude to sit and watch satellites of all kinds track across the night sky.

It is one of the reasons I make an annual trip to the national park. Most people have no idea what "dark" really is these days. They are so accustomed to "light pollution" from birth that they know not the beauty of the nighttime sky.

The night skies in rural Saskatchewan are also as black as can be and afford the wonder of the skies to be seen by the naked eye. Add my telescope to that location and the views are to die for when star gazing.
 

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All things being relative, even getting a couple of hours outside of the COTU proves to be immeasurably more breathtaking for night skies than where I am right now. That said, the most captivating skies I've seen were in the Ontario north, deep in the bush, miles and miles away from places like Kapuskasing, Manitouwadge, Upsala .... the Northern Lights were incredible.
 

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I've checked out Stellarium. What cool package.

I've found this link on two recent meteors. You might enjoy these really short videos.
 

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Played with Stellarium a bit, also.

Very interesting and has captivated the chillens, too. Not bad for beta software.

Makes me want to pick up a decent 'scope for astrophotography...
 

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Tried astrophotography once; I totally a total failed at it. Possibly, in this digital age, it would be easier. I have heard that Canon makes some particularly good camera's for astrophotography.
 

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Have a cousin who has been an astrophotographer for some time now. His first setup was an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain and a Canon Rebel. He produced some pretty decent images from that (about 4 years ago).

I know that he's recently moved to a 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain but I'm not sure what camera body he's using. He always wanted to try one of our 1D MkII's to see what kind of difference they made but we never did connect.

He attends the Saskatchewan Summer Star Party every year. One of these years I'm going to make the time to attend.
 

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While Victoria is more "light polluted" than it once was, it's still pretty dark compared to most of the bigger cities mentioned.

You don't have to travel far out of town to get a beautiful sky -- even just to the old Centre of the Universe telescope, for example -- but spend some time on the west coast of this island (places like Tofino and Ucluelet) and you'll actually see *bands of the galaxy* on the right night.
 
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The best night skies I've had the chance to see where waaayyy up north Manitoba. Drove out about an hour outside Thompson on a night when there was a big show of northern lights. It was truly breathtaking. Would have loved to have a telescope when I was up there!

On that same tour we also went up to Churchill Manitoba, but it was too overcast for the duration we were there to do any star gazing :(
 
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