Thursday, May 21, 2009

Urban Observing, Rural Setting: Lynde Shores

A classic case of being able to actually "see something" in an urban area. Lynde Shores is that sort of place. Easy access, less than an hour of travel for most of us, and it is reasonably dark and out of harms way of intruding, local light pollution. It is far from perfect. There is no perfection within two hours drive of Toronto. Three hours will get you black skies, but two hours you will contend with some moronic dome of light from our wonderful world of progress. But to put it mildly, I have to say the experience last night was not only pleasant, but also fun with the gang from the NYAA -- shameless plug-in warning. Visit the NYAA here.

Visible on this night were M81 and M82, two galaxies in Ursa Major, M13 (as if), M5 and others, easily viewable from this location. We had the odd car drive past which is not unusual but far better than the public parks in the urban jungle where "push carts" and their "n'er do well" drivers gather to do whatever it is they do. On Durham Police cruiser came by. I've always said that is better to have than not, a routine patrol in the area. The OPP do that at Forks and it is better that way. But the best thing is there were no direct issues with light, the sight was *dark* for what it's worth. The putrid dome of the light from Toronto and area was an obvious eye soar but much more manageable as we seemed to be more removed from that goo of so-called progress.

All in all a great time with friends and a great time observing.

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