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Cherry Springs State Park, Pa. Photography Milky Way Photography
Astronomers and stargazers appreciate Cherry Springs State Park for the darkness and clarity of its skies, which make it “perhaps the last best refuge of the natural night sky” in the eastern half of the United States. The sky at Cherry Springs has been classified as a 2 on the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale, meaning it has almost no light pollution. With optimum conditions, 10,000 stars are visible with the naked eye at the park, clouds appear only as black holes in the starry sky, and the Milky Way is so bright that it casts a discernible shadow.
Two of the park’s three astronomy domes, the walls prevent the wind from moving telescopes during observation. Nighttime visitors may only use flashlights with red filters, and may only point them at the ground. The Astronomy Field has further restrictions on lights, and parts of the park are light-free zones. The DCNR spent $396,000 in June 2007 to buy mineral rights under 1,980 acres (800 ha) of the park and state forest to prevent natural gas drilling and associated development there.
Patterson State Park Pavilion: (3 miles east of Cherry Springs S.P.)
Image and Comments by Roger Wolfe. I used a 24mm Tamron at f8 for 20 seconds and ISO 1600. White balance was set on daylight and the pavilion was “painted with light” for about 10 seconds. If I were to do it again, I would open up a stop or two, lower the ISO a stop or two, increase the exposure time and wait for the darn planes to go away. I also would have turned noise reduction on; I had it turned off for attempted deep sky images at Cherry Springs. -Roger Wolfe
When to go milky way hunting
When to go milky-way hunting. In mid-February the core of the milky way becomes visible in the pre-dawn hours before sunrise. It will be above the horizon during the day. Of course not the time to go hunting. The core becomes visible for a longer time frame each night. It peaks in June & July when the core will be viewable all night. The best time is around midnight. After this, the cycle goes in the opposite direction. Milky way visibility begins to decrease and go in the opposite direction becoming more and more visible after dusk. It will then disappear again in the winter months.
Where to Eat and Stay – Our Top Picks
Bed and Breakfast – Frosty Hollow Bed and Breakfast – 1077 Cherry Spring Road, Coudersport, Pa. 16915
Motel and Cabins – TOP PICKS – Ox York Inn and Restaurant
Ox York Inn and Restaurant – 29 US Highway 6 – Galeton Pa, 814-435-2515 – http://www.ox-yokeinn.com
Camping – Ox York Inn also offers camping accommodations. Give them a call to get some campground information or make a motel or cabin reservation.
Star Parties – 2015
Cherry Springs Star Party Pennsylvania: Sponsored by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg and in 2012 will be held June 11-14, 2015.
Registration is now open: http://www.cherrysprings.org
Black Forest Star Party: Sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Observers, State College, PA. will be held August 22-24, 2014- Read More at: http://www.cpoclub.org
Near by Photography Spots
Lyman State Park is a good location to stop at while at Cherry Springs State Park area. You can also do dark sky photography reflecting off of the lake here. I will be back here in June or July when the new moon and the weather is just right to do this shot with the night skies.