West Houston Observing

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West Houston Observing

Postby sflindt » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:45 pm

Does anyone know of a fairly dark West Houston observing site? I'm looking for a quick place to go when the trip to Columbus isn't possible. Thanks.
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Re: West Houston Observing

Postby rene-gedaly » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:27 pm

I hear you there, Sandy. I don't live in West Houston, I live north. But I'm a member of NHAC, too, so I can use their/our dark site. It's 29 miles from me instead of the 109 going to Columbus. Thirty miles seems to be the sweet spot. I never think twice about observing when I can get to a dark area in 30 minutes or so. I think someone else brought up this very question about the Galleria area. Anyway, I have found that getting out and observing close by makes my time in Columbus all the better, especially since I bunk or car camp when I go.
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Re: West Houston Observing

Postby jeffery-mac » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:48 pm

You might want to scout out and try Stephen F. Austin State Park. It's about 1/2 the distance to Columbus from Katy. Dark Sky conditions certainly wouldn't be anything like the Columbus dark site, but it might be feasible.

Also, look into Bear Creek Park. The Urban Observing sessions were held there last year.
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Re: West Houston Observing

Postby sfast » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:55 pm

Bear Creek Park at Bear Creek Drive and Schultz Lane is good. It's reasonably dark and has a very good western horizon (other horizons also not bad). There's parking strip there where we did Urban Observing last year.
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Re: West Houston Observing

Postby john-haynes » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:50 pm

The only problem I see there, Steve, is that when the Park closes, that location isn't available. The park closes at 10. Figure 20-30 mins to take down and pack up a scope, sunset is at 7:30 now, you get a couple hours of observing at the most.

I definitely like the spot, though. If we could get a decent-sized group there regularly, perhaps it would be worthwhile to the park to let us stay late. I think Gordon had some kind of deal with them. I didn't take part in the Urban Observing that Gordon led, however, because weeknights don't work for me. Fridays, however, work great. If we could get at least a half dozen people there every reasonably clear Friday, I think it could be a pretty good option and offer a real possibility of community outreach.
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Re: West Houston Observing

Postby joshua-babin » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:12 pm

I couldn't agree more, John. Bear Creek offers some of the only reasonably accessible darker skies to those of us in the greater Houston area. If it were possible to get down there every other Friday and get the time pushed back later, I would be there at all of them!
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Re: West Houston Observing

Postby arnie-hauswald » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:29 pm


Sharon and I just got back from there - Bear Creek Park / HAS Urban Observing Site - great view of the D1 waxing crescent Moon. Al from HAS was there too. We're going back tomorrow night for a D2 look.

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Re: West Houston Observing

Postby joshua-babin » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:43 am

Will have to get out there next weekend. Been working on the Urban Observing program, and could use some slightly darker skies to tease out some of the galaxies on the list!
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Re: West Houston Observing

Postby todd-wooten » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:29 am

George Bush Park in between Hwy 6 and Fry road. If you go down the bike path to the open field there are no lights
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Re: West Houston Observing

Postby steve-munsey » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:32 pm

I know these posts are over a year old but is anyone still meeting at Bear Creek? or George Bush??

These are very close to me and I can make it there 2-3 weekends a month.

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