Sunday, January 20, 2013

Another Retirement Location Off the List

Dang, another place I was considering for retirement is off the list. See the big patch of brightness north of Dickinson, North Dakota?

North Dakota at Night

(This is a portion of a NASA Earth At Night image)

The light is coming mainly from the lights on the instrastructure supporting the oil production there. Media reports suggest that this light is mainly from the flaring of natural gas produced by fracking, but the people who fly the satellite suggest that's not the case. Here's a closeup of the field, from an image at the same source:

Bakken Field closeup
I wonder if the effect on viewing is as pronounced as it appears to be in these images? I don't know anyone who lives in that area to ask.

At one point I thought it might be nice to retire to someplace like Watford City and do astronomy outreach at the North Unit of Teddy Roosevelt N.P., and also do some dark-sky imaging too, of course.

The annual North Dakota Badlands Star Party is held at TRNP North Unit, so maybe when they post their dates for 2013 I'll ask about how the light has affected viewing.

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