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Wish me luck!


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I'm off on my first trip to a proper dark site (Kielder Forest) with my scope this weekend. The forecast has been awful for the weekend, however BBC Weather and the Met Office now agree that it's going to be clear skies on Saturday :rolleyes:

Fingers crossed it won't change again!

- Jason

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oooooooooo good luck! Im hoping its going to be clear tooooooo- mainly to get my own back on my partner because hes decided he wasn't to sit and play games on the computer all weeked - I intend to venture out with the scope and get some awsome images! mwa hahahahaha

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Got back from Kielder late last night - fantastic weekend of biking and getting cold, but the my attempts to observe the heavens were a total disaster!

The clouds kindly parted on the Saturday evening, so I anxiously shifted all of my gear out of the car and set everything up in anticipation of the best views I've had in my life and everything that could go wrong did...

1) I'd left my dew shield at home :) It was so damp there that it only took about 20-30 minutes to cover the lens with dew :(

2) My GOTO decided that it did not want to recognise any stars using 3 or 2 star align

3) Having finally managed to get the scope to accept a 1 star align, it then failed to goto any object successfully

4) After deciding to try and do it manually, someone on the campsite decided to put out their log fire by smothering it. This filled the entire campsite with a thick acidic smog which made the viewing worse than in the middle of Leeds.

It was at this point (after two hours of trying) that I called it quits.


I have never seen such a clear sky before - it was an absolute privilege to see the sky so clearly (once I'd walked away from the campfire smog). You could clearly see different sections of the Milky Way, with dark patches which I assume are dust / gas clouds. It is such a shame that you need to travel to remote locations around the country to see what is up there...

I think my failure has taught me a few lessons to remember for the Kielder Star party and other dark site trips...

- Create a kit list, and check it off before you head out the door

- Make sure your equipment is functional

- If all fails... Enjoy the view anyway :)


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