I would call it magnitude 5, because I was just able to see the 7th star in Ursa Minor, eta, which is mag 5.
Description of the site and why it has been chosen for stargazing:
This is one of the most beautiful & unique state parks in Illinois that attracts the true nature lover, and yet it is close enough for an easy drive from the big city. It is very important that we do educational outreach out to the visitor's of this site regarding light pollution and the importance of starlight preservation. And as for the astronomers, the wide open fields of especially one of the group camping sites allows for ample skies to view and enjoy without a care (except for the raccoons who WILL take advantage of someone who is not paying attention to their snacks. : )
Primary purpose of site:
Starved Rock State Park is a state park in Illinois, characterized by the many canyons within its 2360 acres.The Illinois River Valley in the Starved Rock area is a major contrast to the flatland. The valley was formed by a series of floods as glacial meltwater broke through moraines, sending torrents of water surging across the land and deeply eroding the sandstone and other sedimentary rocks.
During early spring, when the end of winter thaw is occurring and rains are frequent, sparkling waterfalls are found at the heads of all 18 canyons, and vertical walls of moss-covered stone create a setting of natural geologic beauty uncommon in Illinois. Some of the longer-lasting waterfalls are found in French, LaSalle and St. Louis canyons.
Waterfalls, rivers and streams can undercut a cliff, creating overhangs in the sandstone, like Council Overhang at the east end of the park. Other sights can be seen from the bluffs themselves, which provide vantage points for enjoying spectacular vistas.
Experience the fun of outdoor adventure at Starved Rock State Park. Whether you enjoy hiking along the nature trails or viewing the many spectacular overlooks along the Illinois River, recreational opportunities abound. From picnicking to fishing to boating, from horseback riding to camping to enjoying winter sports, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so much to do that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll come back again and again ...and add to all of that ...stargazing!
Interpretation centre or Museum
Meeting room/club house for events
Other services and facilities (please include in description)
Public outreach by volunteer amateur astronomers working together from many local associations for astronomy and light pollution education make this an awesome site.
A great relationship with the state park creates a win-win situation. Astronomers have access to a comfortable group camping field, and we give an interesting and rewarding experience of stargazing to state park guests.
Measures applied at the proposed site to reduce light pollution:
Shine all lighting downward (prevent the emission of light towards the sky or the horizon)
Avoid blue spectrum lighting
Use the minimum light necessary
Keep lighting only where it is truly necessary