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Dark-Sky Sites: Delaware

 

 

Sites: 

 


Town: Laurel

Observing site: Trap Pond State Park

Address: 33587 Baldcypress Lane

Zip Code: 19956

Telephone number: (302) 875-5153, (302) 875-2392

URL: http://www.destateparks.com/tpsp/tpsp.htm

Restrictions:  There is a small cost ($5). Also if you have a tag for the Delaware sea shore state park you can get in free. The gates close to get in at 5 PM but the exit gate is left open.

Directions:  Trap Pond Park is located about six miles east-southeast of Laurel, which is at the intersection of Routes 13 and 24. To get there from points west, take Route 24 East toward Millsboro.  About eight miles out of Laurel, you will see signs to the park, which is to the south (right) of the road.  If coming from the east, take Route 24 out of Millsboro west toward Laurel.  You should also see signs to the park, which is about 10 miles west of Millsboro.  Click here to create a map using Mapquest.

Current weather:  Click for Laurel, Delaware Forecast

 

How are the sky conditions? The sky conditions are quite good. This is probably one of the darkest public accessible sights in Delaware as probably all of the darker spots are privately owned farmland. It is clear most of the summer and warm. There might be a little haze but it's not found too often. The most transparent nights are in the fall and winter but there is lots of scintillation. Spring and Summer tell a different story with rock steady seeing.

 

Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:

     At the zenith:

5.5-5.9

     East:

5.5

     West:

4.7-5.1

     North:

5.1-5.3

     South:

5-5.3


Best horizon: It all depends on where you go in the park.  There is a baseball field right next to the public parking area. The best horizon is the east being the darkest. It gets cut off around 10 degrees.

Worst horizon: The worst is toward the west, looking toward Laurel.

Comments from contributor: This is a great place to go if you are vacationing at the Delaware beaches. It is a big step up from observing from there. It is also quite close.

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