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Observing site: Catahoula National
Address: LA 28 between Pineville and
LA28 / US84 intersection
Zip Code: 71360
Contact information: P.O. Drawer Z ,
Rhinehart, LA 71363-0201
Telephone number: (318) 992-5261
Restrictions: None known
Directions: Approximately 19 miles east
of Pineville, LA on LA Hwy 28, 1 mile off the north side of the highway, by the
lake's flood control gates. The actual (final) road is not named, but has an
Army Corps of Engineers sign by the cattle gap where it leaves LA 28. The
floodgates are visible to the north of the road while driving on the bridge over
the diversion canal they control.
Current weather :
How are the sky conditions? Good.
Horsehead Nebula see through a 10" Dob reflector at times.
Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a
clear, moonless night:
Best horizon (direction and approximate
altitude cut-off): All, 5 deg.
Worst horizon (direction and approximate
altitude cut-off): SE, due to a small light dome
from contributor: This is just a publicly-accessible area,
completely devoid of any kind of development except the flood control gates.
horizons are about 5 degrees in all directions.
roads leading to the site are good. The road into the area itself is a
maintained gravel road.
is a large flat grassy area at the end of it that's great for setup.
large number of people could be accommodated assuming the ground is dry and
suitable to drive on.
is virtually NO artificial light visible (except, see below).
a location only 20 miles from "civilization", it can be very
is no *nearby* concrete to radiate heat.
public land, so people are free to come and go, with no light
restrictions. If someone comes down the road, you'll have some headlights
to content with sooner or later.
next to a lake that varies in depth throughout the year, so being in
Louisiana, it can be a mosquito factory. But then again, so can anywhere
else in the South.
lake is purely for flood control and is undeveloped in terms of marinas,
etc. However, since fishing takes place on the lake there will be times
after dark when you have fishermen (and hunters) driving out with full
headlights. However, this activity diminishes after a little while.
someone will decide to fish from the floodgates themselves, usually with a
camping lantern. There are a couple of parking lots not too far from the
grassy area where I observe, but they're down from it, about the height of
a typical levee. As a result, it's possible to block much of it from view
on the grassy area.
ago, the floodgate structure had a blinking red light (NOT a strobe) on
it. That's been out for several years, but there's no telling if and when
it might reappear.
line - It's just public land with no special provisions for astronomers.
However, I've done a lot of observing from there and all in all, it's
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