Observing Sites - Glittering Lights - Marco Lorenzi

Observing Sites

Here are the main sites where I 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 below use the standard color coding of Cinzano's world mapping of light pollution work ( http://www.lightpollution.it/). Local sky brightness was measured with a SQM-L Sky Quality Meter (http://www.unihedron.com/projects/darksky/).

* 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<br />
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    * 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<br />
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    * 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

* Gambugliano (Vicenza, Italy): my parents' home, on the hills around Vicenza, my hometwon, a city of 120,000 inhabitants. For many years this was my main shooting base. Light pollution is quite annoying, on best nights there are hints of the milky way at the zenith. Coordinates 45° 35' N 11° 26' E, height 170m a.s.l., SQM typ 19.6 mag/arcs 


* Gav Observatory (Vicenza, Italy): south of the city of Vicenza, there the sky is similar that the one in Gambugliano. Coordinates 45° 30' N 11° 32' E, height 180m a.s.l. SQM 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 light pollution from "Pianura Padana" plain compromises shooting at low declination. About 1.5 hours drive from my base. Coordinates 45° 58' N 11° 25' E, height 1650m a.s.l. SQM typ 20.7 mag/arcs
* Monte Labro: a very nice and dark location in Italy, reachable from my home in Italy in 5 hours drive. The vision of the Milky Way is very 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<br />
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    * 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

* Monte Labro: a very nice and dark location in Italy, reachable from my hometown in about 5 hours drive. The vision of the Milky Way is very impressive and south horizon is clear. It can be quite windy during the night. Coordinates 42° 51' N 11° 33' E, height 900m a.s.l. SQM 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 hometown including one hour ferry. Coordinates 42° 22' N 10° 54' E, height 360m a.s.l. SQM typ 21.5 mag/arcs 
* 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!

* 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. Coordinates 31° 17' S 149° 12' E, height 560m a.s.l. SQM typical around 22.0 mag/arcs !

* Singapore, my new home since 2016, it was awarded the country with the worst level of light pollution in the world by "The New World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness" study in 2016, with a pollution level of 100 per cent. It is virtually impossible to see the milky way anywhere in this island. From here I only do planetary work on the brightest solar system objects. Unfortunately sky seldom clears in the night, in particular during the raining season, however the geographical position close to the equator means ecliptic cross the zenith and the jet stream is little influencing, hence seeing and observing conditions of solar system objects can be quite pretty at time. Coordinates 1° 17' N, 103° 51' E

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