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Salisbury star party chat

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I have just got home and unloaded the car. I must echo the comments from Dark Knight. I arrived early on the Sunday and did get to do some observing on several nights early in the week. Yes there were some nights when I was in bed/out of bed repeatedly to make the most of the clear spells. It was brilliant getting to view Jupiter and other objects including some deep space objects through some pretty big dobs. Viweing the sun in Hydrogen Alpha for the first time was also superb. Yes we has some dire weather too but the friendly chat and meeting so many great people more than made up for that. The Saturday lectures were all excellent.

In conclusion, for my first star party, I really enjoyed it and consider it well worthwhile. Thanks Darren for your hard work in running the event.

Can't wait to go on another one next year!

Cheers all,


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Robin it was great to meed yourself and Hilary, shame you didn't get much viewing done but at least you persevered and got to see something in the early hours.

Claire I'm glad you can show Neil what we saw - the photo's really like it isn't it?

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I had a good time at my third SSP, stayed for the full 7 nights in my cosy motorcaravan. Good to meet friends from previous star parties and make new acquaintances. Brought my brand new imaging rig, but didn't get much chance to use it under the clouds. Did some solar imaging with the PST but discovered that my barlow needed a good clean. October weather can be good, but not so lucky for us this time, the Atacama is too far away, so I made the best of it by drinking beer. Looking forward to next star party.


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Yes, thanks for the update.

The weather is supposed to horrendous on Thursday with heavy rain forecast. I planned to arrive midday, but I don't fancy erecting a tent in that so I may wait until Friday.:)

Well it was, and I didn't. I arrived late Thursday afternoon just as the rain started again.

Many thanks to Cassandra, Jon, Mike, Nick and the others who's names have escaped me, helped me erect my tent in the awful weather.

I was getting in a terrible mess trying for the first time to erect a big-ish tunnel tent. So much for the " you'll have it up in 15mins" advice I received before leaving home. :D

Other than the uncomfortable start I thoroughly enjoyed the few days there and met some friendly and interesting people. :)

Thanks to Darren for organising the event. :icon_salut:

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Yes thanks to Darren for organising a really good event :icon_salut:

Intended to do 2 nights but bailed out after the hog roast due to horrible forecast.

Got woken up just before 4 on the Saturday morning and got a great observing session in with my young boy - mars, jupiter, M42, andromeda (visible with the naked eye), pleiades, and a few meteors (his first)...

We're fairly new to this but will definitely be back for future SSPs!

Didn't bother with any astro pics but thought I'd share a photo of the sunset on Friday night which was pretty cool :D


Edited by GarethA
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Well im glad you all made it home safely, especially Michigander and Michigoose ( Dana and Marion ).

Just want to say a massive thankyou to everyone. You have made this year yet another fantastic event and I couldnt have done it without you.

A huge shout out to Nick Howes, the lineup of speakers was excellent and everyone thouroughly enjoyed them, so thankyou.

Dr Emily Baldwin, your chilli on Thursday night (although not as spicy as some of our guests in the static would've liked) was excellent and a nice little opener for your 2nd SSP. Thanks for opening the talks on the saturday morning and I look forward to your write up in AN.

Mr Iain Melville, Although your side kick (AKA RichieJarvis) wasnt there with you, I thouroughly enjoyed your company and it was good to catch up again. Hopefullly I'll see you at IOW next year fella.

Steph and Carl AKA Dobserver and Darknight, so good to see you back for your 3rd SSP and thankyou so much to Reece for making friends with my 10 year old son Jamie and keeping him entertained and showing him his first ever taste of the night sky ( I believe it was 10 Messier objects and Jupiter in his first night?)

Just to say again, a massive thankyou to you all. I'm so happy that, despite the weather, the majority of you turned up.

Now on to business I guess............

I know I said at the end of the talks that there may not be another SSP next year, but after you all said how much you enjoyed it and how well organised the event was (except for a few administration and logistical nightmares), I have decided that despite all the setbacks and roadblocks that I have faced, SSP will be back for its 6th event next August, and yes I did say AUGUST (you cant get rid of me that easily :D. Now for some of you that will be a sigh of relief and for me it is also as october isnt ideal. It was only at that time of year as that was the only time that the campsite would take us.

It will be held at a different location but still in or around the Salisbury Area.

I will be scouting out and staying overnight at several locations between now and the New year and the dates and the location will all be posted up on the website Salisbury Star Party some time after the New Year.

Well thats it from me for another year, sorry I haven't posted much else on SGL apart from SSP for the last year and a half but since my Mums death in 2009, my uncles death last year and the death of a close friend of mine this year, its been hard enough getting the event organised by myself on top of work commitments too, let alone trying to keep up with whats going on on here also, so for that I apologise.

Any way

Goodnight all, back to work for me tomorrow ( no rest for the wicked ).

Clear Skies to you all

Darren :icon_salut:

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When I was packing up to come home today Darren called by and said he was going to arrange next year's event to be held in August in the hope of having better weather. It should at least be warmer, though the nights will be shorter.

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When I was packing up to come home today Darren called by and said he was going to arrange next year's event to be held in August in the hope of having better weather. It should at least be warmer, though the nights will be shorter.

Ha! He beat you to it. :icon_salut:

Edited by haitch
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Darren it was so much fun listening to Reece and Jamie at the scope. Reece got loads out of teaching Jamie and I was amazed at his patience, not his strongest suit to date. I guess he's growing up fast! Anyway there's always hot chocolate and biscuits to be had at our caravan....or something stronger for the bigger boys.

Speaking of biscuits, well done for being the first to complete the Four Digestive Challenge! Your valiant effort set a new campsite record, which was subsequently matched, but you will always be remembered as the first, what a dubious honour :icon_salut:

Looking forward to next year already, going to book the time off work today!

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Got back last night, some time with the family last night was lovely.

As ever a really enjoyable time and well done to Darren for all his hard work that resulted in everyone having an enjoyable time. Here's to bigger and better things next year. Lovely to meet so many old (and new) friends and get to know some of them much better than before. The biscuit challenge was legendary, congrats Dazzer!

Glad to here you got home this time Michigoose and Michigander without the help of a low-loader or an RAC man!

And thanks to the kind words about my string picking, I really enjoyed it.

See you all for the next one I hope.


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I am very pleased people enjoyed the speakers, Dr Emily, Ninian, Damian, Sally etc all gave terrific talks, and the feedback from that side I got from everyone was terrific.

The thing I enjoy most about star parties in general is the company, that's what makes it for me, and I hope that all of the star parties next year that I hope to attend carry on delivering great company, clear skies and good memories

Thanks to all who made SSP one to remember

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Hiya Darren, looks like you pulled it off again, well done. Trish and I did not attend this year as we had two hols back to back ending a week ago.

Now then, AUGUST next year sounds great, so we will keep our eyes open for further developements.

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Hehe my work colleagues have already had an office email introducing the Faulkes telescope project :icon_salut:

I have to thank Astrognome for the 101 answers to my questions about his Landrover. Sandrine has made it clear that it's currently possible but down the list (do I read between the lines or act obtuse on purpose!).

Thanks to Mike, John & et al for an enjoyable (but cloudy) SSP!

Edited by NickK
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Great photos Hedgerow, so glad you got one of my dob, third piccy down (the one with the beautiful new wooden base - thanks to my DarkNight in shining armour!)

The sense of anticipation that day was tangible, such a shame the clouds scuppered it for us all :D

You can really feel the excitement in your photos too NickK :icon_salut:

Edited by dobserver
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Nice one, Darren - thanks!

Really enjoyed my fleeting visit, despite not getting any observing in with the weather being what it was, thoroughly enjoyed all the excellent talks on Saturday and look forward to August :icon_salut:

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Here is the fruit of my solar imaging on Friday.

Coronado Solarmax 40 filter and BF10 blocking filter mounted on Revelation 66mm Apo scope - DMK21.618AS camera. Seperate exposures for disc and for prominences. Best 400 frames stacked with Avistack, then sharpened in Registax and Focusmagic and composited and coloured in Photoshop CS2.

Just to give you a taste of how good Stephen Green's solar rig is - the views through the eyepiece of his set up are as good as if not better than this processed image. I dread to think how good images though his scope would be!!


Edited by michaelmorris
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