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Am I not going to be able to see anything until september?


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Mostly due to BST and the nights getting stupidly short, it's getting dark too late for me to have observing sessions longer than 30 minutes. If any at all! And worse, it's going to get to the point where it never gets truly dark at all (if you beleive http://dateandtime.info/citysunrisesunset.php?id=2643743) and stays that way for nearly 2 months :mad:

Does this mean I got into astronomy at just the wrong time of year? I haven't even had a proper observing session yet and it's already getting dark too late for me to observer at all. Not to mention the clouds : :clouds1:   and worse, when the clouds aren't there, it's either windy or very humid :cussing:

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you can observe all year long,(even at the weekend) the summer is still great, try and get away from the light pollution and to see the milky way over head is great and lots to see

Edited by faulksy
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I had the most amazing summer last year. Got a new scope in the spring, and spent many nights out till two or three in the morning. I'm very lucky to have quite dark skies on my doorstep, so to speak, and the Milky Way was fabulous. Globular clusters, planetary and emission nebulae, star clouds, colourful double stars ... I've bought a couple of new eyepieces since then, and can't wait to revisit everything again this year.

Kev 

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Doesn't it have to be astronomical twilight to get the best views? according to that resource it's not going to reach that at all during the summer. I guess I could just do lunar, planetary, double stars and the sun (if I get a filter). But globulars, nebulae and galaxies are what i'm most interested in.

Also, if I do put up with a little of the sun's light... By the time it gets to its darkest it's still really late. And I don't think there'll be many days with no moon, no wind, no poor seeing and no cloud on a friday/saturday. Seems very very limiting. To be honest, aside from the expenses, the limitations on when you can observe is my biggest issue with this hobby. Just about everything can ruin things.

It's possible I could go camping over the holidays somewhere dark. But again, the weather is likely to ruin things.  Maybe I'm just cynical.

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Well Auriga, Casseiopia, Draco, Cepheus, Perseus, Ursa Ma, Ursa Mi and a couple of minor constellations are visible all year round.

Then you have the summer ones like Cygnus, Leo and Lyra appear, and whatever else.

There is a fair selection of constellations and whatever object s in them to see.

Go observing at weekends and have a lateish night once in a while.

You will have more observing time then people up in Scotland where it literally can have no "dark" at all.

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You could always look at the Moon, buy a solar filter to look at the Sun, Jupiter is still a fine sight and Saturn is lining up for an appearance (though not optimal). That lot is all I pretty much bother with- keeps me entertained all year round!

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Plenty to observe, it just arrives at a point where you may have abandon routine sleep patterns once in a while, to observe later and so get the short astronomically dark time line,  until almost sun rise. More of a challenge up here at around 55 degree's North.

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Pip, forgive me if my memory's faulty, but you're school-age? I can see how, during term, light evenings are going to be a bugbear but, as James and Ronin said, weekend nights (well ok, Friday and Saturday) are going to be your best bet. And... nice and warm, even at 1am. I really appreciated how easy observing was last summer, when my fingers turned into fish-fingers this winter and my eyepieces were playing with Mr Frosty after just a few minutes!

I learnt a lot of my (still-pitiful) knowledge about the night sky during late spring, summer and autumn. *Lots* of goodies to find, let alone spend some time with - so don't be too disheartened. You've talked before about your light pollution, so don't necessarily expect to see all the galaxies, blobs etc that you are most interested in. That *does not* mean that you shouldn't try for them, and have a barrelful-of-monkey-fun so doing! Bet you do :)

I think and hope you have entered into a lifelong wonderment in this celestial Hall of Mirrors - I would love to time-travel back and persuade the young me to buy a telescope, not least to have the advantage of young, brighter eyes for all those years - and I really hope you'll not be downhearted with the few dips and potholes you'll come across in the road...They're just part of the journey and we've all tripped over a few.

Summer's coming....race ya to the Ring Nebula!

Edited by ghostdance
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Pip, forgive me if my memory's faulty, but you're school-age? I can see how, during term, light evenings are going to be a bugbear but, as James said, weekend nights (well ok, Friday and Saturday) are going to be your best bet. And... nice and warm, even at 1am. I really appreciated how easy observing was last summer, when my fingers turned into fish-fingers this winter and my eyepieces were playing with Mr Frosty after just a few minutes!

I learnt a lot of my (still-pitiful) knowledge about the night sky during late spring, summer and autumn. *Lots* of goodies to find, let alone spend some time with - so don't be too disheartened. You've talked before about your light pollution, so don't necessarily expect to see all the galaxies, blobs etc that you are most interested in. That *does not* mean that you shouldn't try for them, and have a barrelful-of-monkey-fun so doing! Bet you do :)

I think and hope you have entered into a lifelong wonderment in this celestial Hall of Mirrors - I would love to time-travel back and persuade the young me to buy a telescope, not least to have the advantage of young, brighter eyes for all those years - and I really hope you'll not be downhearted with the few dips and potholes you'll come across in the road...They're just part of the journey and we've all tripped over a few.

Summer's coming....race ya to the Ring Nebula!

I just looked at the ring nebula in stellarium. surface brightness of 10 seems unreal! M42 only has a SB of 13 and that's a naked-eye object! Albeit rather small.

I might get the opportunity to go somewhere late in summer. But it seems unlikely. Because getting away from the LP here (enough to see the milky way naked-eye probably takes about 40 mins (tte local society goes to wembury, which is darker than where I am, certainly. But not by a huge amount.) So dad would need to drive me (even to wembury if i'm honest, that mount is heavy!) and he doesn't like being up late at all.

Although. SB of 10 sounds like it could be a star from a naked-eye perspective. I might be able to see it from my back yard...

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Don't forget, you got some awesome meteor showers coming up in the summer months. As for globulars and such, you got M13 and M5 as highlights for May. I am currently re-reading Turn Left At Orion, after putting it back in storage a couple of years ago, to get myself reaquainted with the skies after a long hiatus.... So... You got M44 (Beehive), M67, the Leo Trio (M66 M65 NGC3628) M3......that's a few to mark on your tally :)

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Also, use the summer to practice some prime focus Moon shots with that DSLR, if you love observing DSO's most, then there will come a time when you wanna dip a toe in the deep pool of astro imaging.  For me, I love Moon shots for the craters and landscape studying just on their own.  I even annotated one of my own photos for my primary school teacher cousin to use in class :) But it's also a great intro to the art of astro imaging. So don't get summer blues, with summer also comes the season for NLC's, now that WOULD be a sight to admire! Stargazing and watching out for shooting stars framed by some lovely NLC's.  It's about recognising the beauty of the night sky in all it's forms

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Its the prime reason my Dobsonian goes into hibernation here at 57N. The skies above are just not dark enough for my reflector, and when Summer truly arrives, it's still very light at 11pm?

I revert to wide angle binoculars, and just view the brightest stars in the constellations that circumvent Polaris, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia and anything inbetween?

Edited by Charic
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Ring nebula was my first DSO in summer months so you may surprise yourself at what you can see.

Just remember that the objects up there will still be there next year if you miss them now (with obvious exceptions for comets/supernovae etc). Use the summer months to practice technique and just enjoy being able to wear a t-shirt while undertaking your hobby rather than being so dressed up you can hardly move!

Michael

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 just enjoy being able to wear a t-shirt while undertaking your hobby rather than being so dressed up you can hardly move!

But just watch out for all the biting mozzies etc! I got about 30 bites on my hands once when I set up at the nature reserve once during the summer!

Matt

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Beer and BBQ nights introducing some of my friends to my astro setup has led me to losing 1 dust cap for my diagonal, and two eyepiece screws lol! If only the Pimms wasn't so nice! :p But in a 90mm refractor, I could still get some nice views, and I managed to split a few double stars between meteor showers. There's still lots to do, like honing your averted eyesight skills, taking wide angle shots and seeing if you can discern which stars are which, and learning more about the night sky in general, all ready for the darker nights. I love summer astronomy, there's no risk of slipping on ice and smashing your favourite eyepiece that you have in your hand :D

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But just watch out for all the biting mozzies etc! I got about 30 bites on my hands once when I set up at the nature reserve once during the summer!

Matt

discovered in Scotland, the best thing for mozzies - incense sticks!! the smoke from the incense was more effective than citronella! 

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Actually, I think summer is my favourite time of the year. Okay, so it doesn't get 'properly' dark - but it still looks much so to my eyes. And yes, it does mean starting observing near midnight. But it does have a couple of good points:

1) It's not freezing

2) Sagittarius comes over the horizon, with all the goodies down there:

post-28380-0-01161100-1398355223_thumb.p
Honestly, it's my favourite bit of sky, and it's well worth getting to bed at 3am to have a bit of darkness with this area of sky.
Plus Cygnus is nice and high, and that's a lovely constellation. Two words - Veil Nebula.
So yes, summer is a bit more effort, but it's well worth it. Further north I get why you might stop for summer, but in Devon you'll be fine - just up late!
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Of course down near the south coast you actually stand a chance of seeing many of those Sagittarian targets, too.  The further south the better, really.  You don't have to go too far north for some of them to barely scrape above the horizon.

James

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