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Wimbledon Common - London's new Viewing Site ?


Hugechris
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Those with great viewing away from London might scoff at this but for us Londoners seeing more than a couple of dozen stars in the sky is a good night !

I recently spent a couple of hours viewing on wimbledon common last week and had the pleasure of meeting the senior keeper of the common. He seemed quite interested in what I was up to in the middle of the field and was very happy the common was being used for a new activity.

In fact he was wanted to encourage astronomy on the common and we went on to discuss the opportunity of amateurs giving talks or even having a small get together of local astronomers on a regular basis.

Richmond park (just over the road) is now gated at night with no access, which I guess caused the local astronomy club there to stop their meetings.

Wimbledon common is not gated at there is car access (near the windmill and the rangers station) at all hours. The viewing sites are decent (for London), its a hill top with some great open fields that are directly shielded from the city lights by a ring of tress. This gives great 360 views at >5% and above. The viewing was a big improvement on my back garden not too far away.

For those with little time to travel out of London, I think the common offers a step up on the back garden and would be keen to hear of any interest in setting up meetings.

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Thanks for the heads up. I am a member of the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers who meet in Regents park, but those are sactioned meetings (once a month) by the Royal Parks so it will be nice to have an alternative for the rest of the month.

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Hi Chris,

That's fabulous news. Keep us informed with whatever happens on this front; more astronomers and more events for astronomers = a brilliant thing, especially in light polluted London!

All the best,

Mike

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The occasional meet-up on Wimbledon Common might work for me, I'm about a mile away. Don't turn your back on your equipment though, those Wombles work quickly. :rolleyes:

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For Londoners It is worth remembering that the suburbs are only a short drive out of town.

I live west of London and during non peak hours I can drive from Kings Cross to the M25 along the A40 in around 20-25mins. There are many places inside the M25 ring where good darker skys can be found. I live near Ruislip Woods and can see a distinct difference between the sky to my east where the glow is very noticable (towards London) and to my West where the sky begins to darken.

If you wanted to drive another 15mins to the High Wycombe area the skys become even better.

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For Londoners It is worth remembering that the suburbs are only a short drive out of town.

I live west of London and during non peak hours I can drive from Kings Cross to the M25 along the A40 in around 20-25mins. There are many places inside the M25 ring where good darker skys can be found. I live near Ruislip Woods and can see a distinct difference between the sky to my east where the glow is very noticable (towards London) and to my West where the sky begins to darken.

If you wanted to drive another 15mins to the High Wycombe area the skys become even better.

I agree, it would be nice to get out of London every clear night, with the weather we have at the moment I am glad to be able to grab a few hours with clear skies anywhere !

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Richmond park is only closed to vehicles at night. The pedestrian gates are still open. They only close those when they are culling the deer. Although if your gear is heavy it is not much use!

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