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Dixie

9th Kielder Forest Star Camp

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3 more sleeps till I go!! Astro kit all sorted out and sitting in the garage, clothes all packed, beers bought, just some food n whisky to get an am sorted....

See yooz there.

Gary

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Boo...we can't get away tomorrow now....looks like it will be Wednesday for us now!

See y'all soon

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Forecast shows clear skies for most of the north tomorrow night!

I've never scoured the forecast sites as much as the last few days :D

cs,

- Jason

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It was looking like THU night being the best chance of some clear weather, Looking a bit so so now. Not sure whether to empty the observatory or take the binos and astrotrac ?

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Looks pretty poor for Friday and Saturday now :-( If the forecast hasn't improved by Fri morning I may give it a miss... Shame, still there's always next time!

Tom

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Any word on how the camp site is holding up? I was there in August and the ground was very soft. There were some very heavy showers in the NE last night.

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i've seen the foreccast for Friday (sort of ok)..Saturday....(awful).....Sunday....(awful) again......as i'm booked for a tent I do think it's a sensible decision to put it on hold til the March star camp. I've been washed out at Kielder before and it's definitely no fun. If you are in a caravan or motor home it might be OK. If anyone up there reads this and can get a signal and reply - please let us know what it's like. Im booked for 2 days/nights and might drive up Saturday night [prob just sleep in car tho]

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Well it was supposed to be good last night when I checked in the morning so I went... 20 fantastic minutes then cloud :-(

On my way to the in-laws in Cumbria now as tonight is forecast to be rubbish too. Everybody kept saying how good Thursday night was!

However in the brief clear period (twilight really but I could still see a structured MW!) I did split Epsilon Lyrae (both in one fov) and resolve loads of stars in M13 - most of the way to the core, at least, it was great. Also checked out the Ring and the Dumbbell but I think they needed proper darkness to look their best.

Saw a few open clusters in misty skies later but could have done that at home really! For a few minutes though Melotte 20 (think that's the one, around Mirfak) was amazing in binoculars - ten times the amount of stars I see in Cambridge.

Met lots of friendly people and on the whole glad I went.

Roll on spring 2012!

Tom

Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk

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Hullo , popped down for the talks at the castle today , i really liked the narrow band talk & saw some nice looking gear at the stands.

Thanks to Keith (Sunderland astro) for the egg sandwiches & Mike Dickson for the cuppa :icon_salut:.

i think i may venture down for the spring event with my old achro & canon 500d & tent .

I also had an interesting chat about midge control with Paul & Pete fom Sky at Night at the Observatory , heheh.

Lots of friendly folk.

Thanks again.

Dave.

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Like Dave, I popped down yesterday with Val (one of the Cumbria Star Party organisers). Despite the weather we had a good time, met a lot of chums, enjoyed the talks and drooled over the gear on the stands. After dinner (the steak and ale pie in the pub was good, the sticky toffee pudding was to die for) we went up to the Kielder Observatory, where about 20 hardy souls had braved the wind and rain. Gary Fildes gave a superb talk on Jupiter and then we got a tour of the Observatory.

All in all, a good day, despite the weather. When we drove back towards Gretna, the weather cleared and we stopped the car - a brief look at Jupiter and the Pleiades, then continued.

Thanks to Richard and all those who organised the event.

Tom

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Just got back. had a great time despite the rain. Thursday night (early friday morning was an absolute corker. I'll post an observing report when I get a chance. Thanks to Rich and all the organisers.

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Got back this morning, a typically good time was had but the campsite was a morasse. :icon_salut: It was unanymously agreed, among our group, that - this being the third or fourth time we have paid to take part in a re-enactment of Paschendaele 1917 - we would rather do Kelling next year than gamble on the weather at Kielder. It's a shame as it is otherwise a first class event; I'm sure there would be plenty of amateur astronomers willing to spare some time to sort out the drainage at Kielder....if indeed it can be sorted.

Some excellent talks this year, I particularly enjoyed Martin Lunn's talk about Cass A.

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Back home from another fantastic Kielder star camp! Whilst the Wednesday and Thursday nights started a bit overcast both cleared to reveal a magnificent view of the Milky Way, Jupiter looked resplendent and the sight of Orion rising from below the tree line helped reinforce Kielder as my favourite place to stargaze.

It was great to see so many new faces this Autumn, I really wish those that turned up on the Friday and Saturday had a clear sky to remember as this would have easily offset the weather and made their trip to Kielder worthwhile. Yes it was a bit wet but nothing more than a pair of wellies wouldn't overcome.

Thanks to Richard for organising, it was great to see you all again!

N&K

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It was great to see so many new faces this Autumn, I really wish those that turned up on the Friday and Saturday had a clear sky to remember as this would have easily offset the weather and made their trip to Kielder worthwhile. Yes it was a bit wet but nothing more than a pair of wellies wouldn't overcome.

As a new face, I can say I didn't mind the wetness underfoot - I don't go camping expecting to stay clean! I might bring a big wooden board for the Dob to go on next time though. I fully expect to be back in the Spring.

Tom

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Thursday was our best night but we missed the best bit as we went to bed around 2am lol Friday was hit and miss more miss than hit then Saturday was a wash out but the talks were good although some of it was way above my head lol. Thanks to the organisers for all there hard work but ............

I would have to agree with Dave another Kielder and yes another mud bath, for those in camper vans/caravans and statics the star camp was ok, unfortunatly for those of us in tents it was an ordeal not to be repeated again. In my opinion the pitches were already too wet to camp on when we arrived on Thursday and within a few hours of pitching camp we were up to the eyes in mud, its not fun and detracts from an otherwise great event. When it rained on Saturday within 30 minutes it was a quagmire. Trying to keep things clean and dry was impossible.

As Dave says im sure there would be plenty of us that would volunteer to help sort out the drainage on the site, me included.

Phil

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I think everybody has their idea of what is tolerable. It was a bit muddy when I left on Sunday, but nothing that my wellies couldn't cope with. The views Thursday night / early Friday morning more than made up for a bit of mud. I do work outside nearly every day so a bit of weather doesn't bother me. Give me really dark skies and a bit of mud over the orange glow of my back garden anytime!

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I am not scared of a bit of mud, but it liquified around our tent and was getting quite slippery by Sunday. What happens if someone injures themselves and tries to sue the campsite?

The issue is not so daft as 'mud or light pollution', there are all sorts of measures that could be taken to improve the site. Doubling the width of the road in the top field, and getting the cars off the grass, would be a good start. I have been attending KSC since 2006 and the site has slowly improved but this year was a backward step from 2010 and suggests there is still some way to go. I wonder how much money is (able to be) re-invested in the site given it is run by a charitable foundation?

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I would be inclined to volunteer my services if there was to be an astronomer army working to improve the ground.

But, it is a basic campsite in the back of beyond and thats why we use it. The mud doesn't bother me really. But then I am fortunate to have spent all my Kielder visits in a caravan.

It is a great place, with great sky and the folks there are all friendly. Hats off to the organisers, Richard, Kevin, Et Al. :icon_salut:

We, Craig and I, have decided though that we are moving our annual Kielder visit to the spring as although it is much colder the sky tends to be more reliable.

Hope to see you all in the spring.

Gary

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To be honest I only ever go camping at Kielder these days so don't experience other sites. My thought is if I go camping in a field in Britain and it chucks it down I will probably get wet and muddy. Again, give me a dark sky and a bit of mud over my back garden anytime. Obviously better if it doesn't rain.

Edited by bish

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I was there from Friday to Sunday but stayed over night at the observatory to assist with the public events. Weather-wise it was quite a washout, with Saturday night strong winds adding to the rain - at least on the hill where the observatory is located.

However - it is like fishing - and it is always nice to see the "family" again. I agree I would not have chosen to be in a tent and the drainage at the site could be improved. As a survivor of Kielder 2004 :icon_salut: I find the drainage on the top field has improved but it still could be better. However, wellington boots are important for any starcamp as washouts are quite frequent. Dalby was no better this year in this aspect - nobody can sort the weather out.

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Hi all. just got back. cheers to richard and the other stewards of the event. Good talks and vendors on the main day. awee bit wet towards the end, but was lucky as i was in a caravan.

Enjoyed seeing old and new freinds, booked for spring already.

cheers steve

ps still not found out who sneaked in my van on friday night, hit me on the head and drunk all my booze..:D:icon_salut::D

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Just to add a belated thank you to everyone involved for yet another excellent star party. Particular thanks to Richard, Lynn and Kev.

Also the talks were equally excellent this time - I particularily enjoyed Dave Williams passionate "few minutes" on narrowband imaging from a light polluted home and Dr Johns fascinating discussion of the human eye from the view of a camera. Well done to both.

Whilst the weather didn't really play ball, we did get to see stars on every night, but only Thursday night was worthwhile using the kit and was fabulous apart from everything dripping in dew. Sadly my guiding was not playing so i didn't get anything worth sharing but i still had a fab time.

Here's a couple of pics to show it wasny always like the Somme....

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Edited by robbieince

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thanks to all that made it a great time despite the clouds and rain. i did manage to get little be of time with my ccd on wednesday night/ thursday morning but nothing great.

looking forward to march.

glen

post-14650-133877688205_thumb.jpg

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I can't believe it's been a week already since the main day at Kielder......

Thanks to Richard and all the others for organising a great event. :headbang:

Thanks to Solarwallace (Steve) for giving me some spare red mask to cover my laptop with as I'd forgotten to bring any - even though I never got a chance to do any webcam imaging with all the clouds.

Also thanks to the couple in the caravan next to us for lending us a stove lighter. :)

This was my first Kielder, I had a great time and so did my mate James.

Unfortunately as we arrived on the Friday we missed the only clear(ish) night. Although we did get a brief glimpse of how dark the skies can be on the Friday night - with some nice views of Jupiter, The Double Cluster, M45 and M1 in-between the clouds!!

The breakfasts up at the Pantry were very tasty and so was all the food in the Anglers. The main day at the castle was good fun followed by a great night in the pub - dinner then shooting some pool in the the bar, next time I'll bring my own cue as I think quite a few others did!! :p It looked like half the camp site must have been there due to the clouds so it was busy with a great atmosphere all night. :)

The camp site did get very muddy and by the time we got packed up on the Monday the moat surrounding our tent was getting very close!! ;):p

The one thing you can't plan for at any astronomy event is the weather. So if you plan for the worst and hope for the best you should have a great time either way. :)

Cheers

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