Night Sky

If you love to see celestial bodies whether is the Milky Way, Andromeda or any star… Come and visit us between April and October when rains are less frequent. You'll really enjoy it, according to an expert in astronomy our sky is at level 2 in The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale.

In July 2008 we had the visit of Celso Montalvo, a chemical engineer, Professor at the Peruvian Engineering University and expert in astronomy, He along with Lita Rojas his wife, left a written testimony of their nice trip to Vaquería. This is an extract from his blog AstroNotas CMH:

Note: To date 2012 we already produce electric power but not any light pollution.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Travel Vaquería, Ancash.
I'm back from my trip to Vaquería, Ancash, conducted between July 27 and August 1, 2008. The exact location is in 9º 1' 1" S; 77º 32' 21" W. In Google Earth can find the only house of the place, but the photo is old and new buildings appear to lodging, the fish farm and other buildings. There is no electricity in the area. A lamp that is charged during the day by sunlight dimly lit rooms and walkways surrounding the house. The first day I received cloudy night but the second and third day were completely clear and dark. In the darkness I could still see people a few feet (not much I left the house) but in the sky the Milky Way was impressive. The dark spots of Pipa and Horse Archer were sharp but looked more diffuse but noticeable. Jupiter look like Venus and the starry vault was awesome.

I was like a child in the midst of so many goodies that do not know what to choose. The views of star fields with binoculars were amazing. Just took my 60mm refractor telescope diameter, 800 mm focal length, with eyepieces and accessories C8. At first glance you could quickly detect M4. I estimated a magnitude limit of 6.5 but with the great view of my friend Jorge Avendaño would have seen at least 8. At dawn suddenly and at naked-eye, I found the light big dot, that was the Andromeda galaxy, then I put on my glasses and I could also see the M33. My ratings Bortle sky was 2, maybe a little stuck to Bortle 3, but definitely in the range of 2. I was told that there are darker nights when they can not even see the road at their feet or people at your side.!!

With the telescope I could see the complete Veil Nebula and Uranus was recognized at glance, easy to magnitude 5.6. However, I could not detect with the naked-eye the Helix Nebula. I estimated the brightness of many variables (R TrA, R CrB, chi Cyg, NU Pav, Pav S, T Lyr). I Observed objects CRA saw Jupiter (only their bands because I could only reached 103x with the refractor) and its satellites. I could see C93 (NGC6752) globular cluster in Turkey that seemed bigger and brighter than M13 also saw. I took pictures of the sky without a telescope from Crux-Centaurus to Cygnus-Lyra but the batteries ran out (perhaps because of the cold) after taking a photo through the telescope of the globular cluster in Pavo C93. I attached this last photo, with the outlines of the stars in 10 seconds as the telescope did not drag.

My observation was very good and exciting. In the evening, at 7 pm, it passed by a large bolide of at least magnitude 4 that left a trail. Although I did not spent time to see meteors I could estimate they spent about 60 from 7 pm until 4 am. Most of magnitude 3 or 4 but several of magnitude 1 and 2 and brightest few fireballs. Their radiant appeared to be in four different places: Sagittarids, Aquarids, Perseids and some other point that I couldn’t define. However, where I was is an alley that has the Nevado Chopicalqui south, about 12 degrees elevation and the hill that is in front of Colcabamba, about 10 ° elevation in the North, and sides two separate hills that rose at least 40 or 45 °, reducing the field of view. My cousin plans to enable an observation on the hill of the East, where there is a flat area which is reached by a path of about 1.5 km. By day, of course, the views are stunning and panoramas of ecstasy. A walking tour of 10 km I did took me by mountains full of vegetation, fields of corn, wheat and other products, rivers, bridges, two waterfalls and more panoramas. In total I took about 600 photos so it is not difficult to understand why the batteries are exhausted. The walk took me two hours to lower the drop of about 800m and 3 hours to return slowly in order to avoid agitating more than necessary. In short, an excellent journey I must re-do and maybe you too can do it. Ah! and leave for another time the view of the road between Yungay and Vaqueria Llanganuco, the Huascaran and Huandoy, Caraz and Canyon del Pato, etc.

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