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Advice on viewing locations

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posted on Sep, 18 2019 @ 12:15 AM
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I've been reading a bit on the aviation forums lately. Having found myself not working I wanted to pick up a hobby as quickly as possible before I end up doing something stupid like going out to make money again. I'm hobbling around a bit now. I can't do any real uneven terrain in the dark and can't do anything but short fairly level walks in the light. I'm needing to get some advice from our, quite demonstrability astute, ATS contributors on where I would be best advised to set up a small area to sit and watch the sky while I enjoy a pipe and perhaps a draught of liquor. Sadly I can't really sit out all night.

Keep in mind I have ZERO aviation background. I'm obviously able to look up rudimentary information about air strips, bases, etc. and I have tried. I've gone out a few nights and observed lights going due W to due E with red lights. I, again with no background, assume these were commercial flights out of SeaTac or PDX that had already reached a fairly high elevation (going strictly by naked eye and the lights being tiny. I also figure it is most likely SeaTac. A small telescope is not out of the question for me though.)

Okay, not to essentially give you my dox. I am just shy of 100 miles SSW of the Yakima Training Facility. About 150 miles ENE from PDX. I'm about 200 miles almost perfect SE of SeaTac, but I haven't been to SeaTac in two decades. I know I'm close based on my estimate though. While having little aviation experience I did live quite close to a commercial airport growing up and before 9/11 we could go and watch them. A fond memory I have with an aunt of mine is going to watch the planes take off. We often lived under flight paths when I was a kid as well.

I also live in what used to be considered a Dark Sky Park and in spite of their efforts to regain that status I'm quite convinced the California refugee and Western Washington population coming in will want their big night lights to protect them from all the terrifying small mammalian population. I AM fortunate to live in a passably remote area. I have a viewing corridor that runs pretty open from N to S though probably only about some less favorable W to E views of 45% on either side. There is an actual small observation platform next to my shop, but I am not convinced that it's not ideal as it has a roof. I believe the open drive in the front of the shop is the best location. I also can't actually climb us there safely.

Strangely I don't know what to call the view. I'm sure there is some way to express it properly. The view will be all around. The approximate view is MAYBE 135% all around.

The moon tonight was a bit of a problem. I had to look to the sky to the north for a few minutes to catch anything. Too lazy to check the moon cycle, but back when I wasn't a gimp I would have hiked 6 or 8 miles in that moonlight no problem, now that I think of it though it's not brighter than a NE moon event..... way more if there was snow on the ground and had nary a problem. Either way I think you all can gather what you need from what I've passed on.

I've become interested. All I want to really see before my heart kicks the last time is to see one single black triangle doing what they do.

If you have any advice for where I should set up I'd be happy to hear it. I will not give any more identifying formation on me as far as geography (I will actually, but only a few members I feel are reliable source). I have a good idea who is reliable and why. That's as far as I'll go there.

Either way I just want to see the triangle, one or twice, and it would make me happy. I think I'm in a decent flight path. If I was able to haul myself to Portland and sleep nearby I would. I would, but my body just doesn't have it in me. I certainly would have a long time ago because she sounds beautiful.

So I'd settle for a look at her now.

edit on 9/18/19 by Ksihkehe because: Missed things.

edit on 9/18/19 by Ksihkehe because: God dammit I missed more.




posted on Sep, 18 2019 @ 01:06 AM
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a reply to: Ksihkehe

Let's start here...


Keep in mind I have ZERO aviation background. I'm obviously able to look up rudimentary information about air strips, bases, etc. and I have tried. I've gone out a few nights and observed lights going due W to due E with red lights. I, again with no background, assume these were commercial flights out of SeaTac or PDX that had already reached a fairly high elevation (going strictly by naked eye and the lights being tiny. I also figure it is most likely SeaTac. A small telescope is not out of the question for me though.)



Edit: I gotta pretty good clue.



but only a few members I feel are reliable source). I have a good idea who is reliable and why. That's as far as I'll go there.


You put it in the right forum

edit on 18-9-2019 by Bigburgh because: Tacos and Monster drinks make an awesome Area 51 Raid Snack👽👽👽👽



posted on Sep, 18 2019 @ 01:48 AM
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a reply to: Bigburgh

I think a large number of people would be greatly surprised what I know with no digital hocus pocus as far as member credibility, but what intrigues me is the first part of what you quoted from me. I don't know if there is an implication there or not.



posted on Sep, 18 2019 @ 03:28 AM
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a reply to: Ksihkehe

That first part struck me as if you're looking for aircrafts at night or something more. I deleted a portion of my post because you were adamant about whom wanted to get advice from. I ask if you had Flightradar24 or ADS-B Exchange as an aid so you can decifer between planes, satellites, stars or something extraordinary.

As I read further, you made clear you wanted to know if there was a place near you that had no light pollution so you could look up, relax have a sip of spirit and take in the night sky to it's fullest. Was going to suggest heading to the coast. The ocean, best night time viewing with no light other than the stars. You might even catch a triangle


In essence, I'm the worst possible person to ask for this advice



posted on Sep, 18 2019 @ 03:50 AM
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When I was young I lived in Nevada, Reno to be precise. It had lights from the casino's, but beyond the hills offered some of the clearest night skies I've ever seen with the naked eyes. 2 airports and military flight zone. One day I happen to look up and seen 3 F-117s Stealth fighters as I was coming home from school.

Over time the city got bigger and I had to go farther out into the desert to enjoy the night sky. The milky way was still visible, but I had to go farther to enjoy it. I would spend hours out there. Eventually as I could drive, I would go 40 minutes North to a place called pyramid lake. It was on an Indian reservation, and damn near perfect no light pollution. Better yet the air Force would do low high speed passes over the lake just after dusk. Had my snacks ready to go for a quiet evening.



posted on Sep, 20 2019 @ 08:17 AM
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originally posted by: Bigburgh
a reply to: Ksihkehe

That first part struck me as if you're looking for aircrafts at night or something more. I deleted a portion of my post because you were adamant about whom wanted to get advice from. I ask if you had Flightradar24 or ADS-B Exchange as an aid so you can decifer between planes, satellites, stars or something extraordinary.



No, that was not my intent at all and I'm sorry if it came off that way. I was more talking about members I have never seen or read much from and assorted riff-raff that I have seen and read. Not people like you. I've been reading your posts for ages and would have no problem giving you a more precise location. I don't think it's needed though. I have amazing dark skies here. People come here and set up private observatories. I was at one that has a roof that slides open and two pretty impressive telescopes. I was more wondering if I would see more interesting things looking south from the north end of my property or east from the western side. I'm limited by tree cover so I really have two good lines of sight to the sky. I guess ultimately I could just alternate locations.

We hear helicopters going almost directly overhead some nights (often more than one at a time) I could probably get a glimpse of them if I happen to be outside. Last night I heard a very slow and seemingly low flying plane. It was a low buzzing rumble. Some type of multiple prop plane was my guess. Didn't catch a glimpse. I'd also think about trying to view the space station and things like that.

I'm going to check out both the sites and already bookmarked them.

Thanks for your reply and sorry for any perceived snotty tone!
edit on 9/20/19 by Ksihkehe because: clarifying something.



posted on Sep, 20 2019 @ 04:45 PM
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originally posted by: Bigburgh
a reply to: Ksihkehe

That first part struck me as if you're looking for aircrafts at night or something more. I deleted a portion of my post because you were adamant about whom wanted to get advice from. I ask if you had Flightradar24 or ADS-B Exchange as an aid so you can decifer between planes, satellites, stars or something extraordinary.


This is really great advice Bigburgh!

OP Since you are a novice, you need to spend some time educating yourself on planes and spotting in general. Download one or both of the apps he mentioned above. Then find a comfortable spot preferably near and airport then start watching. I ALWAYS look up if I hear a plane and spend time trying to ID it. Use the software to confirm what you saw. Now 150 to 200 miles is up there but you can still get a feel for patterns. a 300mm zoom lens will give you enough magnification to ID type at altitude during the day

Below is a flightradar24 image of your area from a few minutes ago showing commercial traffic


You will be able to soon directly ID stuff in the air and you will get to know the "normal" patterns. That way you can spot stuff thats different. Depending on the flight profile and how nerdy about it you want to get you can tell the difference between a 777-300 ER and a -200 model etc.



posted on Sep, 22 2019 @ 12:06 AM
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a reply to: FredT

Thanks for the advice. I did check these out and will most definitely be using them. It is pretty busy on the screen, but it seems pretty easy to pick up and go.

I'll keep reading the forum and picking things up.



posted on Sep, 23 2019 @ 12:02 AM
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Yakima is one of the Mobility Guardian training areas. There's a lot of interesting stuff flying around you right now.



posted on Sep, 23 2019 @ 02:39 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
Yakima is one of the Mobility Guardian training areas. There's a lot of interesting stuff flying around you right now.


I have heard jet engines a few times in the past couple days, but nothing came close enough to see. Two times just about an hour or so ago. It's definitely more active than normal. Thanks for the heads up. I'll be keeping my eyes and ears open.




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