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My observing sites


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7 replies to this topic

#1
Mr_Simnock

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I have been observing on and off for over 20 years in Lancashire, nothing too serious, I mainly use just my eyes and some bino’s. I hope in this thread to show some of the sites that I use to observe now when I get the time. I reside in Huncoat, Accrington but I did live in Chatburn in the Ribble Valley. The first spot is at Tosside on the Lancashire Yorkshire border next to Stocks Reservoir. Here is a link for more info on Tosside. http://tossidecommun...o.uk/index.html

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As the map shows its up a track. I usually park next to the pub, the Dog and Partridge, and walk up. It’s very dark up there and cold so I wrap up well and take a torch. After about half a mile you reach a clearing surrounded by trees. The trees help keep cold winds at bay, the air is quite still there, it’s also got plenty of space to set up a scope etc too. Don’t worry about getting bothered by anyone it’s a bit remote and I have never known anyone else to venture up there at night although during the day you would see plenty of bikers and dog walkers. I have always gone with my brother and wife as it is a very lonely location on your own, and eerie to put it mildly. I also make sure my phone (or a phone) is fully charged up before I set out. Here are three pictures to help show the seeing conditions.

This first shot was taken on the 18th of March this year at about 8:15 pm (as were the other two - edit). The camera is a Panasonic LX5, a good quality compact that I didn’t buy for Astronomical imaging although it does have a limited use for this. It was set at ISO800, F2.0 for 15 seconds, as are the two pictures after this. It was taken facing southwest. The glow is from the Ribble Valley, Blackburn and Preston. Visually its not too bad, I could count between 15-18 stars in Orion and the at the zenith stars down to roughly around mag 5.2.

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This second pic was taken facing northeast where there is no obvious light pollution visible at all. I say obvious but it should be noted that about 15 years ago in this area the Milky Way was an easy spot on any night with the moon less than a quarter phase, now its only visible on the best moonless nights sadly. That glow in the above image, mainly from Clitheroe and Whalley was no where near what it is today, both towns have increased their urban housing hugley.

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The final pic was taken facing west again no obvious light pollution visible, which is surprising given that Morecambe Is in that direction, I suppose the trees must hide that.

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Tomorrow I'll post about another location again near the Lancs-Yorks border.

Edited by Mr_Simnock, 12 July 2012 - 11:28 PM.


#2
robbieince

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looks a good site - shame about the southern view though...

All the Best,
Rob
53.72N, 2.67W
Skywatcher EQ8 Pro and Losmandy G11, Orion Optics AG8, C9.25, Skywatcher 300p flextube dob, Borg 77ED, "robservatory", Art 4021, Atik 16IC, Canon 500D and astrotrac


#3
Mr_Simnock

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Even from as far as The Ribble Head Viaduct, which is an excellent site to observe from, the southern hoirizon is affected by light polution from the east Lancashire area. Outside of the ravenous army of blood thirsty midges in summer up there I can't fault going to the Rbble Head Viaduct, the pub tends to stay open very late and has rooms and camping space available as well if you need to stop over. I'll never forget the night during the Leonids in 1999, I saw meteors of all colours shapes and sizes up there, some cast shadows even though the moon was full.

#4
Darkstar_1

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Hi and welcome to the lancashire group mr_simnock, excellent post look forward to more. incidentally my oldest lad lives in Huncoat, are there no dark sites near there i thought the moors would be ok?.

clear skies, Den.
scopes- skyliner 200p dob, celestron 127 mak goto.
EP's - vixen npl 30mm, 15mm, celestron 25mm, 9mm, skywatcher 25mm super wide.
Binos - revelation astro 15x70, meade 10x50.
Tal 2x Barlow
RACI finder,Telrad finder,Baader neodymium filter, Baader solar filter.

#5
Mr_Simnock

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Sorry for the delay, here is location number two. This one is right on the Lancs Yorks border north of Stocks reservoir. I have been here a few times to spot meteors on a couple of occasions as there is room to park the car and has a good clear view of all the sky. It's also a bit remote which negates a lot of light pollution but hinders with it being far from help if something did go wrong (i.e. car broke down). Here is a link to the location on google street view - http://tiny.cc/j5prhw, and here is a map -

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Last time I visited was in March this year at around 10:30pm. My only problem with this visit is that an approaching car slowed and past quite slowly and then pulled up about 800m away down the road and just parked up. It's a very remote road but I imagine it could be one of the few spots for kids to meet up in cars and hang around at. There were three of us so it didn't bother me too much and we didn't see the car again approach us (it eventually set off and headed towards Stocks Reservoir).

This first image was taken at 10:32pm pointing at the Zenith. It was taken with my Panasonic LX5 (as are the other images) set at ISO200 for a minute at F2.0.

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Stars down to mag 5 are easily spotted from here going down to about 5.5 on good nights. During this visit the thin crescent moon had all but set and there was just a hint of haze in the upper atmosphere at times. The next photo was taken at 10:40pm and set at ISO400 for 30 seconds at f2.0 and facing northwest (in the bottom left corner of the image is a hint of light pollution from the south - edit).

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Final image shows some of the light pollution visible from here which only comes from the south side via the Ribble Valley and Blackburn areas. If there is low cloud on the horizon it is sometimes possible to see a tiny bit of light from Preston, Lancaster and Skipton buts its only minimal and never gets in the way of observing. Following image taken facing southwest at 10:32pm set at F2.0, ISO400 for 15 seconds.

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Edited by Mr_Simnock, 21 July 2012 - 12:10 AM.


#6
Darkstar_1

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That looks like an excellent site, thanks for sharing with the group.
scopes- skyliner 200p dob, celestron 127 mak goto.
EP's - vixen npl 30mm, 15mm, celestron 25mm, 9mm, skywatcher 25mm super wide.
Binos - revelation astro 15x70, meade 10x50.
Tal 2x Barlow
RACI finder,Telrad finder,Baader neodymium filter, Baader solar filter.

#7
bluenoes

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Thanks for sharing these :)
Shame they arent a little closer to Manchester as Im looking for somewhere to go

#8
Cozzy

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Thanks for sharing these :)
Shame they arent a little closer to Manchester as Im looking for somewhere to go


being a Salfordian :evil: now living in far northwest I feel for you. try this night sky sim it will give you a good idea about sky conditions around the uk http://www.need-less.org.uk

Tim
SW evostar 120mm (standard) refractor, SW Explorer 200P, SW st80mm, An old TASCO 114 reflector. Canon 1000d.
EQ5, SW RA & Dec motors, self modded hand controller. SPC880 (flashed to SPC900). Bits and Bobs.

 





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