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5th galloway starcamp


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cheers to everonr for attending, if you have any images or comments about the site lesley has a face book page so please do share here   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Drumroamin-Farm-Camping-Caravan-Site/215196418578381 .

bookings will open next year in the new year, and looks like the event will run from the 19th of november.

there may be a gathering in spring the weekend before kielder in febuary,

cheers steve

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Well what a great few days!  Never enough time to get everything done, met lots of new folk and new contacts, great craic as usual and the skies were great albiet very cold on the Sunday morning, Facilities were spotless as ususal thanks to Leslie  and big  thanks to Steve, Tom, Neil, spookykat, perthskies & Co for popping round and saying hello, Looking forward to new meetings in Peebles which is not too far away and perhaps a spring meeting ???? 

Clear skies to you all.


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Had a great time and nice to put faces to the forum names....thanks also to Lesley & Ralph for their excellent site & facilities.

If you need proof of how dark the Galloway skies are here's the zodiacal light...

3 panel mosaic at 12mm

Pentax K5
Pentax 12-24mm f4 DA ED AL IF lens f4.5 at 12mm
Exp 10 secs
iso 6400

Zodiacal Light from Galloway by mikeyscope, on Flickr

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I can't believe it's been a week since i first arrived at the star camp.... It was a brilliant weekend!! Wish I'd arrived on the Wednesday now looking at you image of the Zodiacal Light Mike... absolutely stunning!!   :eek:

Thanks to Steve for organising the event and to Lesely & Ralph for all they do and for the use of their amazing campsite!! As others have said it was great to catch up with all the regulars and to meet a fair few new attendee's, there's too many to mention by name as I'd be here all night...... but this event just gets better every time and it's down to all the folks that attend!!  :smiley:  :smiley:

I thought I'd post up my Jupiter shot from the early hours of the Sunday morning, I managed to capture 4 10k frame AVI's with the colour DFK, unfortunately the one with the best 'seeing' was badly overexposed so I ended up having to chop it to 3k frames - this is the best 1k frames stacked. Not my best effort but I'm fairly pleased and I did say I'd post up the results....  :smiley:


Jupiter from Galloway Star Camp by stev74, on Flickr


Re-size Jupiter from Galloway Star Camp by stev74, on Flickr

Edited by stev74
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Those are wonderful images, Steve & Mike!

I'm still trying to sift through all the subs I managed to take over the 3 night stay, so it'll be a wee while before I can post something up, but I'll get there!

I'd also like to add my thanks to Lesley and Ralph for making the site such a pleasure to stay at and to Steve for organising the event.

Got to know so many new folk this year, as well as meeting some familiar faces too. Great fun! Thanks to everyone for the chat, craic and encouragement.

Looking forward to the next one already!



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I would really like to attend this star camp in 2014. I quite regularly drive through the general area on the way to the boat at Cairnryan however I have a couple of questions:-

  1. How limited are places?
  2. How far in advance do you need to book?
  3. What is the availability of EHU?
  4. On average how many people attend - a large contingent certainly seem to be from around the SW of Scotland?
  5. What are observing condition like i.e. dew and sea mist due to the proximity of the sea ?
  6. Are there any talks / activities during the day or is it primarily down to what you want to do yourself, observing / imaging wise?
  7. How welcoming are you to people who like to drink proper whiskey (spelt with an "e" :grin: )


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Hi Ian

I can't cover all your points,

But booking is not a problem, generally plenty of space.

We went electric this year.

A friendly crowd, this was our second year.

Seeing conditions, well we went for three nights and had three clear nights.

It's fair to say its expossed, so wrap up warm and expect different weather, but we got lucky again.

Definately recommended.

And thanks to Lesley and Ralph for their hospitality and great facilties.


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Thanks Mike, Steve and thanks to others who 'liked' the post, it's nice to know you all had a look too!!  :smiley:

Stuart and Tom I'm looking forward to seeing the results of your imaging as well!!  :cool:

Hi Ian,

I'm sure you'd be more than welcome even if your whisky has an 'e' in it  :grin: .... everyone is really friendly. 

I think Neil has pretty much covered everything you need to know, I'll just add last year on the Saturday night was the best 'seeing' conditions I've ever observed under and this year came really close as well. Although the site is fairly exposed which means you do need to be prepared all conditions including wind but it's worth it when the skies clear, also the facilities are great and kept spotless by Leslie.

All the EHU was booked up a few weeks before the event, there was still non EHU spaces left this year but it is definitely getting more popular each year so to be safe I'd recommend booking a good few months in advance.

There's usually some informal talks in the warm room on the Saturday and loads of experienced observers and imagers so it's a great place to pick up tips about any aspect of astronomy.... basically well worth a visit if you can!!  :smiley:

Edited by stev74
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Hi Ian,

I would like to add to the above...

We get 30 to 35 attendees.

The skies are really very good on clear nights.

We get sea mists on some of the mornings as the sun rises with a great orangey glow.

With the geese flying it looks brilliant, some of us go birdwatching during the day.

No light pollution at the site.

But on wet, cloudy nights we have whiskey tasting sessions, play pool, watch a DVD, and talk and talk in the large games room.

Given the personalities attending it would be extremely difficult not to make friends and have a good craig.

I travel 400 miles to attend plus another 400 miles home, I would not do that if it was not worth it.

As a star party to attend, it's a no brainier!



PS the owners are very attentive, they spend time before we arrive, reducing the areas of possible light pollution.

The greeting and welcome from Lesley makes you feel at home.

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Thanks for the info. It sounds good, it's the lure of properly dark skies that attracts me, and the craic of course :-)

Can only really manage one star party a year, due to other commitments. Normally go to the Peak Star party, which is a really good and friendly event, I would certainly recommend it. I just fancy a change.

Have the dates for 2014 been confirmed yet, if not, when will they be?


Sent from ma fone using Tapatalk 2

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I've attended both this year and can remember you cuddled up to that bottle of your's walking about very happy at peak.

It is very dark site although there is a little town about 4 Mile's to the north that gives off some light so not entirely dark but without actually travelling to a remote area in the national park its the darkest skies I've seen for many years.

Saturday night for about 4 hours was some of the best viewing I'd ever done and some of the coldest too at -7!

You'll not regret it and as others say the facilities are top notch

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A small contribution to this post.

My intention when I attended was to try out (properly) imaging with my modified camera and megrez.

I never managed to get set up with guiding (that's for another day)

The image below is a 2 min unguided M42 using my eq3-2 and 1100d modified dslr.


This was taken on the Thursday night.

If anyone was near my tent on the Saturday evening they will have heard my dec motor give up in dramatic style !!

Rather than replace the motor I bit the bullet and upgraded as you'll see in my sig below.

It will have been me putting too much weight on the scope with all the "extras" that get attached.

Hopefully my new addition won't have the same problem.



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If anyone was near my tent on the Saturday evening they will have heard my dec motor give up in dramatic style !!

Is that what it was ...thought you and Tom had the meat grinder out making mince for Galloway burgers!  :icon_eek:

Naa ...just kidding Neil, didn't hear a anything... these things always seem to happen during astro-imaging at the most awkward times, however I think the NEQ6 is a good decision, great value.

Very nice capture of M42 there, some nice detail and good balance of exposure between central region and outer edges... it's a bright subject but certainly not the easiest requiring multiple exposures stacked to take in the full magnitude range... but care not to kill the core region.


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