Observing Sites

Here are the main sites where I use to shoot from. Most of them suffer from a quite severe light pollution but modern CCD cameras still make possible to get some decent images. The charts reported below use the standard color coding of Cinzano's world mapping of light pollution work (http://www.lightpollution.it/). Sky brightness was measured with a SQM-L Sky Quality Meter.

  • Coonabarabran (NSW, Australia): this is the location of my remotely controlled observatory, about 20 minutes drive to Siding Spring AAT Observatory. One of the darkest skies I have ever seen, no light pollution detectable at any declination. Coordinate 31 17' S 149 12' E, height 550m a.s.l. typ 21.9 mag/arcs with best nights above 22 mag/arcs!

 

  • Gambugliano (Vicenza, Italy): my parents' home, on the hills around Vicenza, a city of 120,000 people. This is my main shooting base. Light pollution is quite fastidious, in few very clear nights there are hints of the milky way at the zenith. Coordinate 45 35' N 11 26' E, height 170m a.s.l., typ 19.7 mag/arcs
  • Gav Observatory (Vicenza, Italy): south of the city of Vicenza, here the sky is similar if not worse that the one in Gambugliano. Coordinate 45 30' N 11 32' E, height 180m a.s.l. typ 19.3 mag/arcs
  • Cima Larici (TN, Italy): the car parking area beside "Malga Larici". During clear nights the milky way is easily visible at the zenith but the light pollution from the "Pianura Padana" plain compromises shooting at low declination. About 1.5 hours drive from my base. Coordinate 45 58' N 11 25' E, height 1650m a.s.l. typ 20.7 mag/arcs

 

  • Monte Labro: a very nice and dark location in Italy, reachable from my base in 5 hours drive. The vision of the Milky Way is impressive and southern objects can be shot down to 20 from the horizon without terrible gradients. It can be quite windy during the night. It is also the site of a nice star party. Coordinate 42 51' N 11 33' E, height 900m a.s.l. typ 21.3 mag/arcs
  • Isola del Giglio: one of the best observing sites in Italy. Very dark sky during clear nights, the Milky way view can be terrific. It takes 7 to 8 hours to get there from my base including one hour ferry. From here I was able to imaging down to 5 to the horizon! Coordinate 42 22' N 10 54' E, height 360m a.s.l. no SQM readings available

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