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brantuk

Kelling Heath Chat Thread (Autumn 2011)

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Hi Folks

Well there's just a month to go now before the largest star camp in Europe - and it's getting exciting. I usually start a thread at this time of year to bring everyone together in a single general thread, though some specific threads have been underway for a while now.

If you haven't managed to book in for the event yet keep your eyes on the "For Sale" section and "Astro Buy/Sell" website. A few last minute cancellations do come up and people try to sell off pitches at cost.

Please feel free to use the thread for general chat, questions, and info about this great event. Lets hear who's going, which pitch you're on, what kit are you taking, what objects you recommend, camping gear suggestions, and any other stuff you'd like to ask or contibute.

To kick it off: Kelling is a very nice campsite in a protected countryside area with interesting flaura and fauna, wildlife, and heathland walks. The event promises three huge fields filled with all sorts of telescopes and equipment to drool over, and if you're friendly with the astronomers, you may even get an offer to look through some of them.

Being a largely flat and clear area away from large cities, the skies tend to be very dark and stunning. There will be trade stands on the main weekend and entry is free to day visitors so do come and look around even if you aren't camping (I'd suggest the main weekend). Make sure to be wrapped up very warm - it gets cold at night.

Here's a couple of links to get you going - don't forget to send a piccy of yourselves to SteveL for his regular mugshot thread:

Kelling Heath Holiday Park - Caravan & Camping Site, North Norfolk UK

http://www.steves-astro.com/images/starparty/kelling-sept-2011.html

http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/

http://www.starparty.org.uk/

I'll be on Red T304 this time so do drop by and say hi if you do make it.

Enjoy :)

Please Note: This event is not organised by SGL so this thread is purely for SGL'ers to get to know who's who, who's going and meet up old friends, or make new ones.

Edited by brantuk

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Couple of "etiquette" pointers for anyone new to star parties:

White or coloured light spoils "dark adapted" eyes, and ruins images.

So if turning up after dark it's allways best to park the car in the car park and switch off lights, then walk down to the scope fields which will be totally blacked out.

Bring only dim red light torches. You can modify a normal torch by putting a red bulb in, or paint over the front end with red nail varnish, or fix red cellophane (eg sweet wrapper) over the front of it with an elastic band.

Laser pointers are usually frowned upon at star parties

Try not to disturb the pitches in the morning - astronomers who've been up till 3am or 4am observing/imaging/drawing will be having a good lie in.

Some equipment takes a long time to set up precisely (especially for imaging). So please don't touch equipment unless specifically invited to, even during the day.

At night just wait patiently untill invited to "have a look", it sometimes takes a short while to find an object for you.

Try not to stamp feet around imaging setups when cold. Carefully aligned photography setups will "feel" the ground vibrations and long exposure images will be ruined.

If you meet anyone from Loughton Astronomical Society it would be a very nice gesture to make a point of thanking them for organising the Autumn Equinox Star Party - they do it tirelessly every year and it's good to recognise their efforts

Astronomers will greatly appreciate observation of those few items, and it will make your visit all the more interesting, pleasurable, and friendly. :)

Edited by brantuk

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After reading all the post saying the pitches were sold out ;)

I phoned up and booked a plot :icon_scratch:

Looking forward to this as I have not attended before

Hope to see some sights and wander and chat with people in daylight and in the dark

You should be able to notice the people who have looked through my scope as I am taking a tin of black boot polish :)

See you soon :hello2:

Edited by Essex Stargazer

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All good info above. Kelling star party is a great event, full of friendly like minded folk.

However, last year a couple of the tents on the red field were illuminated quite brightly from within. I think they were imagers, and maybe dark adapted eyes are not so important as for visual observers. When asked politely about the light glow from their tents, they asked why it was a problem.

The whole point about a star camp is to get away from light pollution. Many attendees have planned and anticipated these events for a long time. So please guys (&gals) respect the needs of everyone, imagers & visual alike. Such a shame to spoil it for others.

Cheers and all the best, Ed.

Edited by NGC 1502

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However, last year a couple of the tents on the red field were illuminated quite brightly from within. I think they were imagers, and maybe dark adapted eyes are not so important as for visual observers. When asked politely about the light glow from their tents, they asked why it was a problem.

Also bear in mind that no everyone attending that weekend will be an Astronomer so people will be on holiday and unaware of the impact of white lights / torches etc , a polite request rather than a gruff one will go down better (i have heard some very blunt comments at Star Parties about people with white lights)

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I'm quite excited it's getting so close now...

I'll be there on yellow 163, though possibly with my imaging rig set up on someone else's plot in the red area :-)

All being well I'll finally have my guiding working by then and will have the Megrez 72 pointing at some nebulae.

Whilst that's doing it's thing I'm hoping to go and A: meet some other imagers (especially any newbies like me) and B: blag a look through one of those lovely big dobs that were there in the spring :-)

See you all there!

Ben

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Also bear in mind that no everyone attending that weekend will be an Astronomer so people will be on holiday and unaware of the impact of white lights / torches etc , a polite request rather than a gruff one will go down better (i have heard some very blunt comments at Star Parties about people with white lights)

Absolutely correct. But not wishing to embarass anyone, one of the "glowing tents" was someone quite well known in the world of astronomy, so no names given. And the night was nice and clear, with lots of folk enjoying the night. The request to sort the light was politely given (as it should be) and no argument was started.

It goes without saying, I hope, that a friendly, but dark as possible event is had.

Cheers :) Ed.

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I bought my pitch (Red T427) for the buy and sell section just yesterday, thanks Rocketron!

This will be my first star party and I am looking forward to it.

Cheers,

Chris

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I bought my pitch (Red T427) for the buy and sell section just yesterday, thanks Rocketron!

This will be my first star party and I am looking forward to it.

Cheers,

Chris

No problem Chris

Hope you enjoy the star party

Ron:)

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Cheers guys, I'm looking forward to meeting some SGLers.

Something that just occurred to me - do the pitches have an electricity supply?

Cheers,

Chris

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All pitches at Kelling have a 16amp Electrical Hook Up (EHU) for caravans, campers and tents. If you're in a tent you'll benefit from one of these (or similar):

Camping Site Mains Supply Unit - 3 Outlet Mobile Mains Units Site Mains Caravan Electrical Carava...

Thanks for that, not having one of those would have been a disaster!

Chris

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Also, as long as you buy something from the shop or restaurant, there is free wifi access around the reception area and square, and some public access PCs available in some places to use the "code" you get for access.

In addition to that, I will be bringing my "mission control" kit to the blue field, and trying to get a wifi/3g networked area running down there. It may work (it did at Lucksall) but its right on the very edge of what is possible with the signal down there. Pop down, you wont miss the antenna and mast :)

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Yes Chris it would indeed have been a disaster - now you can recharge your scope batteries - makes it all worth while lol :)

(though someone would've helped out i'm sure)

Edited by brantuk

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Hi all,

Im going to Kelling for the first time next month wth the guys from the liverpool astronomical society. I really can't wait to go, here's hoping it's clear and dark! I've also been advised by my better half to leave my credit cards at home incase I spot any shiny new toys :rolleyes:

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Hi, I could only get one of the chalet cabins for two reasons,the wife wouldn't contemplate camping in October and there were no pitches left. Anyone got any ideas bout how best to proceed ? I don't know if the chalets have access to clear sky and I still need to put the scope up in the camping field for instance. Other than looking forward to it!

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Hi, I could only get one of the chalet cabins for two reasons,the wife wouldn't contemplate camping in October and there were no pitches left. Anyone got any ideas bout how best to proceed ? I don't know if the chalets have access to clear sky and I still need to put the scope up in the camping field for instance. Other than looking forward to it!
The chalets are pretty much under the trees....

Thanks, is there a communal area for setting up scopes, or is it only on individuals pitches ? I may need to to find a friendly pitch owner..

Cheers,

Mike

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There is (I believe) a scope area booked over a few pitches in the red area, though I don't know if that's reserved for a specific group or if it's open for any attendees to ask for some space?

The pitches are pretty huge, worst case someone on here will no doubt be able to offer you a corner of one of their pitches to set up on.

I would offer but my pitch is in a useless spot too so I'm borrowing space on another pitch for my imaging rig :-)

The challets are useless for astronomy, as Steve said, they're all set back in the trees and have no real space around them.

Ben

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Wish I could get over for it, but I have a dread of flying and have to limit my journeys due to a dodgy ticker.

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Heads up anyone who wants to attend but don't yet have a pitch - keep a close eye on the For Sale section - there may be a spare pitch for 5 days coming up after this weekend.

If it does come up it'll be first come first served - the sale is nothing to do with me so I have no influence other than to give a heads up. :rolleyes:

Edited by brantuk

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no everyone attending that weekend will be an Astronomer

I thought the camping fields were reserved for Astronomers during the Star parties, am I wrong?

Where there is a request for people to be quiet in the mornings because of those who have been up all night, I think it should work both ways. A request for reasonable quietness say from 1am for those who have gone to bed because it is cloudy.

I was kept awake practically all night once because of talking and giggling coming from a tent where there was obviously no astronomy going on.

Really looking forward to coming, I'm on pitch 328 Red field.

Targets I have listed include (Not sure if some of the low ones are possible):

M16 (Eagle nebula)

M20 trifid

M8 lagoon

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

M101

M33

M51

Sombrero galaxy M104 or NGC 4594 (? possible)

M45 Pleiades

NA Nebula NGC 7000

Veil Nebula

M42 Orion Nebula should be rising

NGC 7635 Bubble Nebula

Pelican nebula

Carole

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Hey Carole!!!

I'm thinking, based on the advice I've been given this week, the Sagittarius targets will be too low, especially given the site's location and tree-lines all around it, especially to the South. By late Sept I think those targets are below the horizon by the time it's dark :-(

That's why I'm off to the coast in Felixtowe (sort of south facing) to grab them this weekend hopefully! :-)

Likewise M104, isn't Virgo below the horizon now? That's one I want to get, especially having seen last week's POW, it's such an awesome looking galaxy!!!

Rest of it should be do-able, I'm so looking forward to the horsehead, M42, the Rosette and the Pleiades coming back up! Apart from my half-hearted attempt at M42 in March, I haven't had a chance to try any of those targets yet. I'm thinking the Orion area would work beautifully as a mosaic through the f2.8 200mm lens :-)

Anyway, looking forward to seeing all you folks again... only three and a bit weeks away now!

Fingers crossed for the weather!

Ben

Really looking forward to coming, I'm on pitch 328 Red field.

Targets I have listed include (Not sure if some of the low ones are possible):

M16 (Eagle nebula)

M20 trifid

M8 lagoon

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

M101

M33

M51

Sombrero galaxy M104 or NGC 4594 (? possible)

M45 Pleiades

NA Nebula NGC 7000

Veil Nebula

M42 Orion Nebula should be rising

NGC 7635 Bubble Nebula

Pelican nebula

Carole

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