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Dark Site: South East England - Anyone interested in some group stargazing?


Rob_UK_SE
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Greetings fellow stargazers,

This is my first post to Stargazerlounge. I must start by thanking all those that contribute to the forums. Your posts have helped me enormously when making 'aperture fever' related purchases!

I live in South East England (Sussex) and have discovered a wonderful dark site. On clear nights the Milky Way is clearly visible. It is pretty flat with good views all around. There is very little light pollution due to street lights being non existant. There are also very few houses around. The 'cherry on the cake', so to speak, is that there is a car park right next to the site and the site itself is attached to a local Village Hall. Sadly, there is no astronomical association to benefit from this place. Never mind.

Myself, I travel there regularly as it is easy to park and setup the scope and not feel you are impacting on the locals. However, I am wondering if there are some fellow keen folks who might be interested in some group stargazing? I have always thought that this is a hobby best shared and always more enjoyable in a small group.

Anyone interested?

Best regards,

Rob

Edited by Rob_UK_SE
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  • 3 weeks later...

It's in a small village called Waldron. Sadly it's going to be out of action for the next week or so as one of the houses near by has become rather enthusiastic with Christmas lights... a whole other level of light pollution!

Regards, Rob

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Small world!

The location I use is the green space, next to the village hall.

Access is easy and the field is far enough away from the houses so as not to upset anyone - particularly important in the early hours when the goto slews enthusiastically.

Regards, Rob

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Hi Rob, I live close to the site you are talking about. We are very lucky with the skies here! Let me know when you are next planning a go and I will pop round? I'm sure Rusty will join us too if he can. Once the Griswolds have taken their lights down i guess????

Edited by SimonfromSussex
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Might also be interested, though I'll probably freeze to death this time of year :) It's about an hour from my house in Orpington so definitely doable for an evening if not all night. I'll try to keep an eye on the thread. Am really looking forward to trying the Hyperstar at a dark site.

Robert

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Merry Christmas to all! :D

Sounds to me like we have a plan.

Regrettably, we are away for the New Year but return shortly after.

I will keep an eye on the Met Office site for clear skies. The nearest location they cover is Uckfield:

Uckfield weather forecast - Met Office

Once we are back I will post an invite to all here, clear skies dependent. However, others may wish to take advantage of the potentially excellent skies tomorrow night? I certainly will be from here - the telescope had to come on holiday with us too (My wife was deeply impressed when the back seat and half the boot disappeared). :)

Happy New Year in advance,

Rob

Edited by Rob_UK_SE
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Well folks, the weather on Friday is looking rather positive (touching wood as I write this) at the moment. We could be on for some stargazing.

Weather permitting, I am planning to visit the dark site this friday evening... is any one else up for the challenge?

There will be a waning Gibbous moon rising about 10pm, so DSO might be a little more challenging after this point, however, I am up for the challenge. Mars is going to be fairly close to the moon though which might be a nice sight.

All going to plan I will aim to arrive in the early evening.

Could be a cold on (-1ºc predicted). However, this might help to stabilize the air a bit and at least no dew!

Rob

Edited by Rob_UK_SE
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Hi Rob,

This weekend is gonna be no good for me unfortunately. Shame as I would love to have had a peek through your TV's:cool:

Next time you are going let me know and I will catch up with you all then.

Fingers crossed for you re the forecast!!

Cheers

Alan

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Hi Rob, I'm afraid I might struggle to meet up on Friday. Sadly i'm really busy with work at the mo. If I do get free early enough i will pop up. What time do you think you will stay until (weather permitting)? If i don't make it this time please do let me know next time though as i'd really like to be part of a meet.

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Hi Rob, I will try and make it. I was planning a session anyway. As long as I'm not too knackered from work and the clouds keep their nasty little selves out of it. What sort of time were you thinking? I'll PM you my phone number, if you wouldn't mind doing the same just in case I can't find the place. :icon_scratch:

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Sounds like a great place and not too far. I'm fed up with everything I see disappearing in a murk of light pollution.

Where about's is it please? I've had a look on Google maps and have found a church to the South and a playing field to the NW of the village as landmarks.

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No sooner than I post the threat of clear skies... the Met Office updates the forecast to show poor visibility. Looks like a rather unwelcome haze might be setting in on Thursday?

I am going to keep an eye on the forecast. Should it remain clear I will give tomorrow a go, however, it could be complete a washout if the visibility remains 'moderate'.

Saturday's forecast has updated to show clear skies and a temp of 1ºc. This may be a better day for us - particularly if some have a bit of a trek to get there?

In terms of finding the site. If you google map search 'Waldron' (East Sussex), then use the Star Inn as a reference point. From there, go to the left and up at bit until you see the outline of a cricket pitch. The green is fenced off in the very middle, but public fields makes up the rest. There is a car park to the right. The site is quite high up and the trees are fairly low so there is very little obstruction. You get pretty much 360º. The light pollution is absolutely minimal - certainly the best I have found in the south east. You can clearly see the milky way (when the moon is hibernating!).

The only thing to watch for is the flood light on house near the car park. The light will turn on when you walk or drive past. It is only an issue when people are parking up. It can be quite helpful while setting up.

Rob

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If its a wash out this Friday, how about next week?

The moon will be less intrusive towards the end of the week, and the benefits of the dark sky will make the trip for the peeps further away more attractive.

Just a suggestion.

Regards Steve

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Looks like its an hour away from me, and i haven't seen the milky way yet... Might be worth the drive just for that alone.

Wouldn't be able to stay too long though as I have to drive down to worthing on Saturday morning to pick up my new mount etc.

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