[AZ-Observing] Re: Sunglow (was: Tucson Observing Sites)

  • From: "Frank Kraljic" <fjkraljic@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2001 21:13:59 -0700

Tom Polakis wrote:

> I have been limited in my 10-inch and 20-inch scopes to a magnification of
> less than 150x until the images become painful to look at. ...
> I hope Frank Kraljic has more to say about this, as he is even more
> finicky about seeing than I am.

Sad to admit, my enthusiasm for Sunglow has waned over the past year.  I
suppose cloudy nights add to my disappointment, but as Tom mentioned,
consistent poor seeing is painful to observe through.  I can only recall
three maybe four nights of quality (400-500x plus) seeing; however, three of
those four nights lasting just more than an hour's time.

Perhaps I'm spoiled, taking our skies and weather for granted--by God, I'd
probably quit the hobby if I lived out east--yet, I take pride in saying,
seeing below 250x is worth very little of my serious time, regardless of
transparency.  In the case with Sunglow, most "serious" observing is left by
wayside in exchange for thumbing through Wil Tirion for bright, low power
objects.  More often than I care to admit--which is in line with Tom's
experience (over 20 nights logged at Sunglow)--150 to 175x is the typical
extent of Sunglow's seeing.  Ugh.

> This says nothing about transparency or darkness, which are as
> good as it can be not only in the United States but on the=
>  planet.  Go to Outback Australia, and it won't be any darker
> than Sunglow at the zenith.  And the transparency won't be =
> as good as Sunglow, since you won't find many places at 5000
> feet, which is ideal for my tastes.

Having witnessed the skies from the "accessible" Outback in Australia, Tom
is a hundred percent correct.  The question I ask myself now is, will I
continue to visit and observe from Sunglow?  Yes.  As finicky as I am about
seeing, I do recognize the merits of a dark, transparent sky.  I can only
hope for those occasional nights of, as Mike Mello puts it, "silly power."
I do believe, however, there are locations in the Chiricahua/Pearce vicinity
of great transparency and seeing... the ideal location.  But, it sure is
nice to have a warm room and bed (for day use), two minutes walk from the
observing field, and fresh baked cookies with hot chocolate almost every


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