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Ceph and Cass

how dark is the summer sky


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hi guys/gals was hopeing to go down mid wales next friday or saturday weather permiting of course, its near new moon so that will be good, just wondering how good it will be with the lighter evenings, never been to a dark sky location in the summer. whats your thoughts. cheers regards mike

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should be great. even the lighter summer skies benefit massively from a lack of LP... in fact I went to mid wales in May a couple of years ago and had some really great nights!

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I was in Mid Wales earlier this week (Short stop off before reaching the destination of Pembrokeshire) - it didn't get properly dark until around 10:30pm.

However I was disappointed by the amount of light pollution in Pembrokeshire!

Edited by Beulah
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I'm a bit further south, but the sky is certainly dark enough for observing for a fair which each night, even in the middle of summer, and there are plenty of southerly targets to concentrate on. Not to mention the fact that the Milky Way is stunning from a dark site.

James

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The darkest time of night in summer is 1am (because we're on British Summer Time) so you should consider this as being the mid-point of any observing session. How dark it gets depends on latitude: the further north you go, the less full darkness you get. The shortest, lightest night is the summer solstice (21 June) and at northerly sites there may be no full darkness - or even useable darkness - for a period either side of that date, because the sun doesn't get far enough below the horizon. At my site (latitude 55 degrees north) there is no full darkness from late May to early August.

At the latitude of Cardiff there are currently about three and a half hours of full darkness at night, getting shorter each night until 23 May, when the sky will no longer reach full darkness.

http://www.timeandda...=-1&day=1&n=298

Edited by acey
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It gets dark, but you will have to be up till about 11 for it to be truly dark

And there lies the summer problem for stargazers - particularly ones with no observatory. Get stuff out ready for darkness and polar align and ready. Its gone 23:00 before its dark and not even done anything - tricky when you've been at work and on the go since 06:00 with a job and kids to look after. Not a realistic proposition when got to be up early following day at 06:00.

Thats why last winter was so disappointing for me personally. Hardly got out at all to make teh most fo the long nights...

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there is always something to look at, i can not remember the last time i saw the milky way properly though. i am going on holiday near dartmoor in august so i might have a little trip there with my dslr!

never seen it from a proper dark site i will let you no how it goes

It gets dark, but you will have to be up till about 11 for it to be truly dark

thats not to bad then, usually up a lot later than that any way

The darkest time of night in summer is 1am (because we're on British Summer Time) so you should consider this as being the mid-point of any observing session. How dark it gets depends on latitude: the further north you go, the less full darkness you get. The shortest, lightest night is the summer solstice (21 June) and at northerly sites there may be no full darkness - or even useable darkness - for a period either side of that date, because the sun doesn't get far enough below the horizon. At my site (latitude 55 degrees north) there is no full darkness from late May to early August.

At the latitude of Cardiff there are currently about three and a half hours of full darkness at night, getting shorter each night until 23 May, when the sky will no longer reach full darkness.

http://www.timeandda...=-1&day=1&n=298

thats a great site thanks for that, glad i dont live further north

And there lies the summer problem for stargazers - particularly ones with no observatory. Get stuff out ready for darkness and polar align and ready. Its gone 23:00 before its dark and not even done anything - tricky when you've been at work and on the go since 06:00 with a job and kids to look after. Not a realistic proposition when got to be up early following day at 06:00.

Thats why last winter was so disappointing for me personally. Hardly got out at all to make teh most fo the long nights...

dont think any one did realy, very disapointing

For a useful chart of "darkness" try this: http://www.syn-ack.c...l#kelling_heath just find the place nearest where you are observing and it gives you the times of "true" darkness - not just sunset and sunrise. Don't forget times are GMT and not BST so you have to add an hour (if its summer!).

thanks for that roger very good looks like around midnight for proper darkness to appear
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hi guys/gals was hopeing to go down mid wales next friday or saturday weather permiting of course, its near new moon so that will be good, just wondering how good it will be with the lighter evenings, never been to a dark sky location in the summer. whats your thoughts. cheers regards mike

I'm in Mid Wales at the moment - sky darkness isn't good at this time of year. Last night there was about 3-4 hours usable darkness and it won't get till August. The only thing to remember is that REAL midnight is 1:00 am- so 11:30pm to 2:30am BST are the best times. The Milky Way was plainly visibly last night but a thin layer high cloud and high wind made photography difficult.

I was in Mid Wales earlier this week (Short stop off before reaching the destination of Pembrokeshire) - it didn't get properly dark until around 10:30pm.

However I was disappointed by the amount of light pollution in Pembrokeshire!

There's some big oil installations in Pembroke- I bet they don't skimp on the lighting?

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