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acey

What is a dark site ?

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Nova2000    180
On 08/02/2017 at 19:59, Stub Mandrel said:

Yes, but be aware that a long journey to an 'orion class site' might prove disappointing.

By orion class site. Do you mean a place where the orion arm can be seen? What do you feel will be the naked eyed limiting magnitude of the site? At my dark site. 20km away from a town I can see it very well. 

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Geoff_L    32
On 08/02/2017 at 10:12, CSM said:

Have a look at this to find Dark Sky sites in the Uk

http://www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk/dark-sky-discovery-sites/map.html

Personally, I find https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/ a better indicator. For example, there's a place near me that's darker than my nearest Milky Way class "Dark Sky Discovery" site.

HTH & Clear skies

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Stub Mandrel    6,041
8 hours ago, Nova2000 said:

By orion class site. Do you mean a place where the orion arm can be seen? What do you feel will be the naked eyed limiting magnitude of the site? At my dark site. 20km away from a town I can see it very well. 

From teh Dark Sky Discovery website: " “Orion” sites. At these sites, the seven main stars in the winter constellation Orion are visible to the naked eye. Typically, this means away from, or shielded from, bright lights such as street lights, security lights or approaching car lights."

I the last month I saw all seven main stars in orion + 1 or 2 others from the car park in front of the railway station in the middle of Burton upon Trent and in a suburb of Nottingham just a mile and a half from the city centre, both with not particularly dark adapted eyes, so the criterion for an orion site is not very demanding. I think most 'orion' sites will be significantly better than this, but don't expect them to be in the same league as Exmoor or Kielder Forest.

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westmarch    204

Excellent post by acey - well deserved sticky.

This website has a night sky simulator that helps you to visualise how light pollution alters the night sky in different locations. Assuming you ever get a cloudless night!!

http://www.need-less.org.uk/#ukatnightsim

John

Edited by westmarch

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usernut    4

My garden has bad light pollution (outskirts of Glasgow) but fortunately there is a quiet country park withing a few miles that some astronomy groups use for viewing the sky so i,m going to try it there.

I visited some relatives in Yeovil  and I was blown away by the skies there. The milkyway was stunning from their garden, I couldn't believe the amount of stars I could see with the naked eye. I had only ever seen the sky like this in images and on tv. I could spend hours just lying watching the skies even without a scope or bino's there.

 

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estwing    4,700
9 hours ago, usernut said:

My garden has bad light pollution (outskirts of Glasgow) but fortunately there is a quiet country park withing a few miles that some astronomy groups use for viewing the sky so i,m going to try it there.

I visited some relatives in Yeovil  and I was blown away by the skies there. The milkyway was stunning from their garden, I couldn't believe the amount of stars I could see with the naked eye. I had only ever seen the sky like this in images and on tv. I could spend hours just lying watching the skies even without a scope or bino's there.

 

Er....if I was you I'd head north. Southern skies can't begin to compete with the Isle of Skye 

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Stub Mandrel    6,041

I remember stargazing (and trying to get some basic astro-pics with my bridge camera) - this was before I discovered SGL. It was very freaky being in the dark and hearing seals making rude noises not very far away at all!

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triton1    617

I'm on the edge of town and have good views to the north(unfortunately)and to the east when everyone's gone to bed and have often seen the Milky Way but generally if I can see the stars making up Ursa Minor then it's scope out time.It doesn't happen that often though.

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Stub Mandrel    6,041
12 minutes ago, DavidJM said:

Great dark sky uk poster in October's issue of Sky at Night

None more black?

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DavidJM    49
9 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Poster of a dark sky =  just a big black square.

 

Get it now, once had a postcard sent me "Torquay by night" and it was just a black card

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RichM63    3,428
On 5/2/2017 at 19:58, estwing said:

Er....if I was you I'd head north. Southern skies can't begin to compete with the Isle of Skye 

Well my friend I'd have to disagree. ;) Apparently I'm internationally classed as a dark site.

Sadly over coffee my bank manager has a tendency to agree! :(

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JamesF    7,898

One of my "simple ways to judge a dark site" is what you can see at night when the sky is very heavily overcast.  If you can't see your hand in front of your face when dark adapted then it's really quite dark :)

James

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ManixZero    37
On 2/8/2017 at 10:12, CSM said:

Have a look at this to find Dark Sky sites in the Uk

http://www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk/dark-sky-discovery-sites/map.html

According to this, there are 2 Milkyway class sites within 20 minutes drive away!

If it wasn't cloudy I'd be off like a shot!

(however, this was probably compiled when my local council had a policy of turning off the street lights after midnight! - A policy they reversed after I bought a telescope! Of course!)

Cheers for e share

MZ

Edited by ManixZero
Reference to local light pollution added!

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TareqPhoto    111

I don'k know if i wish to have a dark site or not just because i am starting to do AP, but i really don't like to be in a very dark sites, i was like that twice, once in Scotland in specific in Sterling, and second in New Zealand more than one spot, back then i was just into terrestrial photography and astro wasn't much into my head, now i feel i wish if i was there with my gear.

I do live in a bad or severe or heavy light pollution area or urban, and driving miles away isn't in my plan at all anytime, so all my hope is that one day my government can find a solution for street lights, my house is in red zone but the area itself isn't really that shiny lit as a center of a big city, so this is giving me like an opportunity to detect something in the sky, now i can see very bright stars easily in the best nights or moon-less nights, even in some full-moon nights if the air is transparent or no haze/dew/humidity then i can see bright stars even next to the full moon, so it is all about how bad the lights around my area and how good the sky transparency i think, and i am trying to adapt my eyes to the darkness, but i still think i can't go far much with my eyesight to watch some interesting targets, for now i am happy that i can see stars of nebulae or targets that many like to shoot, if not then at least i know where they are and i just point my scope on mount there and start getting exposures, i will try to make astrophotography overcoming visual plan for me.

My question is, this thread or topic asking about what is a dark site, and my question is, for what is the dark site needed? and my concerning is either visual or astrophotography, and dark site is always winning ofcourse for anything astronomy except the sun[or something else in day light time], but how dark is dark enough for the astrophotography anyway if someone can use camera without filters then? 

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Pete Presland    7,890

I was surprised there are 2 sites just up the A1 from me, until I read what they consider a dark site was. I would have thought most of the country was an Orion site, apart from maybe areas of the larger cities.  I also prefer the other map to be honest as guide as well. There is a fairly nice area that I do visit regular, that shows up very well on this map. https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/

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JOC    1,600
23 minutes ago, Pete Presland said:

I would have thought most of the country was an Orion site

Agreed, clouds allowing I don't think I can recall being anywhere in the UK and not being able to see the top two, the bottom two and the three in the belt.  From my location I was also quite amazed that I could also see a fair cluster of light in the area where the trapezium is.  In fact I had a go with my camera at taking a straight DSLR picture of Orion with my 18-55mm lens about as wide as it gets with about 10 seconds exposure at about ISO800 and got this picture - its not brilliant (and I'd like to take far better shots than this), but it's not a bad approximation of what I can actually see (stars wise) with my eyes.  I don't know if this helps to work out how dark my sky is?

stars2.jpg 

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Stu    15,847
13 minutes ago, JOC said:

I don't know if this helps to work out how dark my sky is?

I reckon that puts you at around mag 4.8 NELM in that direction, probably a bit over 5 when looking at the Zenith. Not dark dark, but not too bad either.

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JOC    1,600
1 hour ago, Stu said:

I reckon that puts you at around mag 4.8 NELM in that direction, probably a bit over 5 when looking at the Zenith. Not dark dark, but not too bad either

That fabulous Stu many thanks - I'd often wondered whether I was poor for light or otherwise.  I have a factory behind me with it's own cluster of lights, but in most places on my land have a hedge between me and those lights.  I am three and a half miles away from the nearest larger town (Which is North) and if I am looking East in particular there is nothing of consequence light wise between my and the open sea.   Looking south-South East I finally hit the large connurbations of Southend and the A127 corridor, but not for about 7 miles in a straight line.  My worse direction seems to be Westerly and although they are a long way away I think it's Chelmsford and to a lesser extent Woodham Ferrers that cause a somewhat yellow glow in the distance in that direction.  I took that shot of Orion (which isn't brilliant I'll be the first to admit) when it was in South-SouthEast at about 45 degrees to the horizontal a couple of nights ago - so def. out in my best direction.  I hadn't considered that it might be useful to take a stab at how dark I am.  I had been really hoping that I did have the fairly decent conditions that I thought I enjoyed so I am really pleased that you've been able to take a stab at this determination for me :hello2:.  Unfortunately I am not aware that I can really see the Milky Way, but I do sometimes see an awful lot of stars up there.

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Stub Mandrel    6,041
7 hours ago, Pete Presland said:

I was surprised there are 2 sites just up the A1 from me, until I read what they consider a dark site was. I would have thought most of the country was an Orion site, apart from maybe areas of the larger cities.  I also prefer the other map to be honest as guide as well. There is a fairly nice area that I do visit regular, that shows up very well on this map. https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/

Burton upon Trent station would qualify as an 'orion' site.

I enjoy the rare benefit of being a passenger last night, being driven along the A50 from Nottingham towards Derby I could see plenty of minor stars in Orion, probably down below mag 4. I could even see a star or two in Cancer, maybe even a hint of the beehive as a fuzzy patch.

Edit - Ic ould see pretty much what @JOC has in his photo, allowing for the fact I was moving and the window kept misting over!

Edited by Stub Mandrel

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