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Astronomy in Durham


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The county or the city? Naked eye, binoculars or scope??

The county has a load of areas that are pretty dark (I am in Weardale which is pretty good) but around the city you'll be hampered by light pollution.

There are websites that can give you an idea such as

need-less light pollution. Just Google light-pollution-map or various permutations.

As to organised events then the only one I know of is the Kielder Star Party. However there are these sites too

Wynyard Planetarium & Observatory

Kielder Observatory

Paul

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There is an observatory just outside Durham city. It is in a field(?) with a public footpath along side. I would have thought that it should be fairly dark there.

Lat 54 deg 46 min N

Long 1 deg 35 min W

Steve

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I too am based in Weardale and while my garden is pretty light polluted thanks to some badly designed streetlights, a short trip up on to the moors to the north and south results in some very dark locations. Anywhere in the county west of the A68 should give a choice of sites.

Edited by drmillrace
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Hi,

When you say the moors which moors sorry new to the area, and also I have spotted a few areas round here but not sure who owns the land or how to get permission I assume on the moors you can just turn up?

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The observatory in Durham is on Observatory Hill - unfortunately the city has expanded since it was built so it is plauged with massive light pollution. I have seen odd mentions of a Durham Astronomical Society but have never been able to track them down properly but I know they have mobnthly meetings in the city somewhere and use the Wynyard Planeterium near Stockton

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Hi,

When you say the moors which moors sorry new to the area, and also I have spotted a few areas round here but not sure who owns the land or how to get permission I assume on the moors you can just turn up?

Why not scout around during the day and night. You will get an idea at night where is dark (most places on the moors are though!) and during the day you'll see which areas you should be able to visit safely. There are quite a few parking areas for starting walks etc so most places are open. Stick to the basic rules of the countryside and you should be fine; farmers are pretty easy going around the area as long as you don't do stupid things.

......all that's not the most direct of answers but really around the moors you are worrying too much. Bear in mind that it gets VERY windy along the valleys even when it seems quite calm in other areas (as proof check out the observatory page on my partially done website.)

Paul

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Hi NigelM

Thanks very much for the info. I remember in the early 1980's the old observatory was being used as extra rooms by the Cosmic Ray Group from the Dept of Physics.

Rob

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Hi,

Sunderland AS regularly observe at Derwent Reservoir on County Durham/Northumberland border. Its not a bad site and is not too far to drive to get to. We're having a summer break now due to light nights but will be back at the site come August. See www.sunderlandastro.com for details of the society. We have a text alert service for our members to tell them when we're observing.

All the best,

Graham

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i sometimes have a drive up here and its only about 20 miles from yours (ish)

the moorcock inn its as good as it gets imo top spot for observing not in the pub but along that road ...and theres people close if anything bad should happen (angry sheep killer rabbits etc :D )

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=car+parks&aq=&sll=55.002629,-2.392616&sspn=0.136655,0.363579&gl=uk&ie=UTF8&t=h&rq=1&ev=zo&split=1&radius=8.65&hq=car+parks&hnear=&ll=55.002629,-2.392616&spn=0.136655,0.363579&z=12

DH8 9DS

Edited by Axe
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