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Open Club  ·  18 members

West Midlands
Dazzyd

Good and safe observing sites in the West Mids?

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Hi Viv.

Thats good,glad it sounds like it could be an option for you,i am about the same distance away from that site.

I think we will be going there again when the dark nights roll in,as Andy liked it,so if you are interested i will let you know nearer the time :smiley:

There is a pub,The Orange Tree,just near the lane you turn into to get the the farm site.

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Yes - please let me know, when you plan an evening. thanks.

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Paul that's fantastic news about the site! It's around 34 miles from me (24 if I go through the centre of Brum :sad: ) which, for a good viewing site, I don't mind travelling. I can understand the owner's attitude about rowdy behavior, he doesn't know us and I would say once he does and he sees we're quiet and respectful he may well relax the pre-payment stiplations etc.

Yes Paul, like Viv, let me know when you fancy getting an evening together. I'm thinking it's going to be after the end of August onwards. End of August is when we start to see sub-8pm sunset times, give it another hour for the sun's effect to minimise and we're getting dark nights from around 9pm to give us a really good viewing night.

Once we've been there once or twice how about seeing if it's worth having a monthy get-together there during the winter months. Worth thinking about :)

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Thats great news Daz.I just hope you both think the site is good enough and worth paying for,only time will tell??

But yes next time we go i will let you know,but as i have said in another post i don't drive any more and am only getting to these places thanks to PorkyB,Andy, who very kindly picks me up.

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All

I have mentioned Cannock Chase before pretty much all of the car parks are free -just need to pick one - many are well away from lights - might be a good idea to contact the countryside rangers / police to let them know, Has anyone seen the DarkSky Discovery site - they log good observing sites - I was thinking of trying to get the stakeholders onboard and get somewhere up there registered.

Any support for this?

Weather does not look good for some time yet - so plenty of time to think about sites.

One thing - farm sites -many now have security lighting, something to do with insurance we need to think about that so obviously a night visit to any site before hand is essential in my view.

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I can assure those who want to go to theChadwick End farm site that there are no security lights.

There is a lane,where you gain access to the field, that gets the occasional car come along but the field is shielded by an hedge.

Do you fancy coming along Steve,or anyone else when we go next??

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Cannock Chaseshould be good and only about 20 miles from me. I think it gets frequented by the canines but that may be the car parks surrounded by trees, are there any completely open car parks over there? It's certainly pushing us away from the LP with places like that :D

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I'm within about 15 miles of the chase, not familiar with it completely, just know there's lots of trees. having driven thru at night, can confirm its darkness!! would be good choice if there is somewhere we can park up with enough open space to maybe go for some lower targets, saying that tho, nothing wrong with targets higher in the sky!!

Chadwick end farm is further at about 24 miles.

Both are certainly 'do-able' as far as I'm concerned.

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Cannock Chase is nearer for me, but I dont mind either site - a least we'll be away from LP - & once a month its no problem. So include me in the list of gazers. Which night would be favourable ? Week nights are tricky but weekends are better for me.

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Hi everyone, I know I'm a little late jumping onto this discussion but better late then never! I live in Solihull so Chadwick End would be ideal for me, I've been dying to have some proper sessions out of the back garden, I went to bude for a couple of days last month and the difference was incredible (don't worry I'm not expecting that from Chadwick). Anyway I only got my first scope in January so still a beginner really and looking to meet more people who are into astronomy locally.

Mike

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Hi Mike.

No problem,it looks like we'll be having plenty of time to find sites the way the weather is :clouds2::clouds1:

I'm also new to all this so i will be looking forward to getting help and advice from the more knowledegable amongst us,and you are welcome to come along when we do eventully get to meet,providing we can all meet at the same time??

We will have to try and fix a date to suit all,when the darker nights are with us and when we know we will be having some good weather.

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I saw a potentially useful site at Cannock Chase this weekend. It is a large wooden platform on a hillside facing West (I think). The views to North and South were also good, but not East due to tall trees. It is a 300m walk along gravel tracks from a car park. I will try to contact the ranger service, if I can find contact details, to see if the car park is unlocked at night as well as to ask their advice on sites in general.

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Hi

I'm glad to go on any site visits contact me,Re a wooden platform on the chase is no good- vibration ,we need solid ground, there are open car parks with good views along Chase Road off Camp road but there may be others I do not know about so contacting rangers would be good as well as trying to get on their good side to get help from them. Has anybody been to the other sites proposed yet?

I am keen to get going again.

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I am keen to get going again.

I'm just keen to get going!! had about 6 clear'ish' skies since I got my scope, been busy buying bits 'n' pieces but need to get down to some hardcore viewing and maybe a bit of imaging.

fingers crossed!!

:tongue:

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Hi

I'm glad to go on any site visits contact me,Re a wooden platform on the chase is no good- vibration ,we need solid ground, there are open car parks with good views along Chase Road off Camp road but there may be others I do not know about so contacting rangers would be good as well as trying to get on their good side to get help from them. Has anybody been to the other sites proposed yet?

I am keen to get going again.

Steve,when you say a wooden platform is no good would that include a decked area,as this is what i was going to use when i do any observing in the back garden,if i get the chance that is??

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Paulus

Yes wooden decking can flex when walked on, try it but i think it will not be as good as grass or concrete. Concrete not as good as grass as the heat in concrete can cause air instability giving poorer views.

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No surface is perfect: wood flexes, contrete retains heat, bare earth is either dusty or muddy and you had better not drop anything in the grass at night. The surface at the Chadwick End Farm was pretty good, earth with a layer of stones rolled into it.

I do know of another spot at Cannock with a concrete surface. I will have a look on Saturday to see what the views are like and what access is like. It needs to be far enough away from the car parks to be an effort for 'undesirables', but not too far to carry all our gear.

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That stone is only for a short way into the field down the middle.

When i was talking to the owner last he was saying that that field is his best for drainage and is ok in the winter months.??

It does get muddy so if anyone does go its best to try and keep the car on the stoney part,if its muddy.

I'll just get an helicopter to drop my gear in for me if its a long walk :grin:

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Well I break up a week on Friday for a couple of weeks which will give me time to start looking for places a lot more. I hope the gods and godesses of clear skies will be looking favourably on my during those 2 weeks :)

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Well Steve it seems you are right about wooden floors.

PorkyB,Andy,popped in last night for an hour or two observing,well an how to really :grin: and we both set up our scopes on the decked area and we could both see a noticable vibration through the EP,even though we were both standing perfectly still.

So we went onto the grassed/slabbed area of the garden and all was fine. :smiley:

We managed to split the double double,Andy had done this befoore, and tracked The Ring Nebula using various magnifications.Fantastic :laugh:

Aren't clear skies good. :grin:

Edited by Paulus17

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Hi all

Clear nights at last, Mon 21st I managed to see the milky way by eye here in Wolves, it must have been very clear as I cant remember when I saw it last from such light polluted skies.

Walsall AS are having a Perseids meteor watch on 11Aug at Barr Beacon in Walsall - good place to meet?

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Im with the Walsall AS group, so I'll more than likely be up the Beacon.

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I'll be there for the meteor watch :D

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I did have a look at another potential site at Cannock Chase. Large flat concrete area, a couple of hundred metres from a car park. Reasonably wide views. No vehicle access but, like most of Cannock Chase, may be visited by illegal motorcyclists.

I was at my usual Atherstone/Coleshill site last night. Had the clearest skies I have seen for a long time. I saw lots of exciting new stuff and also old friends Pleiades, Jupiter and Venus put in an appearance before the mist rolled in at 3:30. I managed to pick a spot where I was shielded from the headlights of passing cars. It's a very good site considering it is so close to the road.

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Ive found the best place for is called Wentnor in Shropshire not far from Bishops Castle has some fantasic views, its one the few places Ive seen the milky way and because its in the middle of a vally its dark and the camp site "The Green" is excellent with the pub on site for the cloudy moments. Ive been told lickey hills are meant to good as well but not been there so I cannot confirm how good it is.

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