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Dark skies, what a difference.


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Just been to Devon for a week and being fairly new to astronomy and hearing a lot about dark skies I took the chance to view the night sky just outside Exmoor and compare it to back home in the midlands. I've got to say I was just amazed at the amount of stars I could see with my naked eye and even struggled to pick out some of the constellations as there was so many stars. If only I had took my telescope. After seeing the sky down there its quiet depressing to get back home and see the light polluted skies. Last night I looked south and could count on my hand how many stars I could see. I can definitely see why dark skies make such a difference. Time to take my telescope on a holiday I think.

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On my first and only real experience of a dark sky location, there were so many stars,the Milky Way etc................that i found it difficult to spot even the simple constellations and planets with the naked eye.

My eyes were just totally overwhelmed.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Just been to Devon for a week and being fairly new to astronomy and hearing a lot about dark skies I took the chance to view the night sky just outside Exmoor and compare it to back home in the midlands. I've got to say I was just amazed at the amount of stars I could see with my naked eye and even struggled to pick out some of the constellations as there was so many stars. If only I had took my telescope. After seeing the sky down there its quiet depressing to get back home and see the light polluted skies. Last night I looked south and could count on my hand how many stars I could see. I can definitely see why dark skies make such a difference. Time to take my telescope on a holiday I think.

Always take a telescope on holiday :(

The funny thing is,you're probably seeing it at its worst at this time of year because the lighter summer skies wash out quite a lot. See it in the middle of a cold clear winter night with no moon and it's just gobsmacking.

James

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By Saturday night(wow, we should start packing) we will be in rural Crete. I really can't wait to see the sky there, it should be so much better plus twilight still finishes at around 10pm.

I'm looking forward to getting my first milky way shots.

:(

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Yes it does make a big difference.I'm in Birmingham and just travelling a few miles out to the open country side makes a big difference to where i live.So real dark site must be mind blowing:eek:

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For many years we had a Christmas holiday at Glenshee in Perthshire (look for "Spittal of Glenshee" on Google Maps). From our hotel it was only a five minute walk to get to a site where you couldn't see any evidence of buildings, roads and lights. The sky there is incredible. If you like astronomy and hillwalking then this place is superb.

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I'm off to Galloway Forest end of June. Unfortunately, stargazing will affected as the summertime, but I am convinced I will gobsmacked in comparison to observing from my backgarden in Milton Keynes

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I'm off to Borth in Wales tomorrow camping, won't take my scope as I'm traveling alone and have enough to carry but hoping to get a good view of the stars from my tent :-) although there will be beer so not sure how good my eyes will be haha!!!

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Trouble is 95% of the population don't know what they are missing, so couldn't give two hoots about light pollution.

Yep. That is the bigger problem.

I wonder how many of Joe Bloggs would say "wow" if ever they were taken to a really dark site, hitherto not giving two hoots about it.

Mind you, I had a colleague from uni with me at a total solar eclipse with clear sky. He didn't give two hoots after witnessing that with his own eyes either.

Edited by PortableAstronomer
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Hi Pete

Visually. Nothing beats a dark sky, and I mean nothing. Aperture, the best eyepieces, the finest optics, whatever. These can all be beat by moving your scope under a dark sky.

It's simply staggering the difference it makes.

Your 8" from a dark sky will out perform a 16" that's stuck in a city. It's as easy as that. The effects of LP should never be underestimated. It totally ruins the night sky.:)

Aperture may be king but it lives underneath the sky.:)

There is no better astronomical accessory than a tank of gas to get you and your scope out under a proper ink black sky.

Obviously the bigger the scope you can take to that sky the better.:(

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In July I'll be on a fishing trip at the West Coast of Vancouver Island. No roads, lights, nothing. Boat in and camp for 3 days. Wont be able to take my scope though sadly.

Gotta to be some room for a pair of 7x50 bins surely?

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Definitely agree. My small 4se in a dark sky place makes me feel like I have a 20" dob.:(

Hi Pete

Visually. Nothing beats a dark sky, and I mean nothing. Aperture, the best eyepieces, the finest optics, whatever. These can all be beat by moving your scope under a dark sky.

It's simply staggering the difference it makes.

Your 8" from a dark sky will out perform a 16" that's stuck in a city. It's as easy as that. The effects of LP should never be underestimated. It totally ruins the night sky.:evil6:

Aperture may be king but it lives underneath the sky.:)

There is no better astronomical accessory than a tank of gas to get you and your scope out under a proper ink black sky.

Obviously the bigger the scope you can take to that sky the better.:)

Edited by Scosmico
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I'll be heading out to Powys in June and it'll probably be the first time I'll see a proper dark sky, a shame I won't be able to take my scope though there!

a shame you can't come later in the year as well - it won't get nearly as dark as it does at that time of year. If you come down later in the year let us know in the S Wales group - we sometimes have meets just outside Brecon if you fancy some observing company - good luck though I'm sure you'll enjoy it anyway is a lovely part of the country.

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