AweSky is your free astrophotography gallery Miscellaneous > Equipment > Setup in the Desert
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Here we see the perfect setup to catch the faintest details of deep sky objects. Portable by car, and ready in a moment. The desert is a good place to do astronomy, because its favorable weather conditions and usually clear horizons.

Jon Christensen, the author of this image, and owner of this setup belongs to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).

2015-10-18 15:51:40       
- What a gift Kelly! You have taken my breath away with these beuafitul images of my family. You gave us such freedom to explore and spend time as a family and all along the way you found those moments that reflect us. I love the silliness, the stillness and the beauty that comes from my children. And you nailed all of these. I can't wait for our part 2. Just have to figure out our outfits again. May have to recycle these!08/24/2011 1:25 pm
2012-10-07 22:42:35       
Lets star(t) close to home and see the number of sand giarns we need to represent our galaxy.There are (very) roughly 50 to 100 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy.1,000 giarns of (Carmel Beach) sand is about a foot long. (Your sand may vary). 1,000 giarns of sand by 1,000 giarns of sand on a flat surface = 1 million giarns of sand. (a square foot)Now put the vertical dimension of 1,000 giarns high = 1 billion giarns of sand. (one cubic foot) 1 Billion giarns of sand is a cube only ~ 1 foot on a side. That means you only need about 50 (for 50 billion stars) cubic feet of sand (a cube about 3 feet on a side) to represent each star in our galaxy. Not very big is it ?Lets call that One cubic sand-galaxy. You can keep this for reference You could easily fit a galaxy of sand in a car. Even if you double that (to represent 100 billion stars) you could still fit that in most cars.Next, there are several estimates (all less than fully convincing) of the number of galaxies visible from here again (very) roughly 50 to 100 billion to maybe a trillion galaxies.So next, lets see how big a cube of one billion sand-galaxies is.Surprisingly its a cube of sand only a fifth of a cubic mile in size ~ about 3,000 feet on a side ( ~ 2.7 billion cubic feet). That 3,000 foot wide cube of sand represents one billion galaxies. So lets call it a one billion galaxy sand-cube. Lets use Carmel Beach for an educated guess.Its pretty close to a mile long and in the summer lets make an estimate of maybe 100 feet wide and 30 feet deep. That comes to ~16 million cubic feet.So we'd need about 1,000 Carmel Beaches to make a one billion galaxy sand-cube. If we counted all the sand in Carmel Bay we'd probably get enough for a whole one billion galaxy sand-cube. For the next step lets get another reference point.To represent the 50 to 100 to 1,000 billion galaxies you just multiply the one billion galaxy sand-cube by 50, 100 or 1,000. Again, really not that much more (not that many beaches).Even the biggest estimate of a trillion galaxies only needs 1,000 cubes of sand about 3,000 feet on a side (billion galaxy sand-cubes).I think there are probably that many cubes of sand (of about 3,000 feet on a side) on the beaches of California alone, but your estimate on this last point are probably at least as good as mine.So by my estimate, there are easily more giarns of sand on our planet's beaches (by at least two, maybe three magnitudes) than there are stars in our known visible Universe.Aren't you glad you asked ? :-)
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