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Open Club  ·  20 members

West Midlands

Black country and surrounding areas social group.


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To get good skies I go to star parties where the location has been choosen carefully for a good trade off of lightpollution against facillities. But we are all looking for low lightpollution, ease of access and safety, the Chase has lots of nightime activity and had to use flash pictures to get them to leave but its bordered by the  Stafford and Cannock glows.

Rural sites are the best but lots of farms now have to have big lights on for insurace reasons and thus do not want gangs of blokes roaming arruond in the dark. I camp at Ratlinghope on the west side of the Mynd but its a campsite and others there can be very bright so not always so suitable. If you find somewhere to try let us know that way you might get people to come with you as most cannot get away for the evening at short notice..

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Woolf always looks at the forest. Old lithuanian saying.  In winter time, if you stop for a moment, you can hear your heart beating. It's that remote, no traffic, no lights. As kids we would

On the magnitude scale  i'm happy to see anything but i'm still starting out. As with what i've learnt from my back garden to going to a darker site suddenly makes you stand back and see the differenc

I know what you mean about frustration. I dont give in though. Andromeda and the double cluster in perseus took me a few continuous nights to find them. I knew where they were and I made a pact not to

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I'm doing some work for the Black Country councils.

Are there any areas (other than Barr Beacon) that are used enough by astronomers to warrant some protection from excessive light pollution? Northycote Farm? The Leasowes? Aldridge Airport? Anywhere in the Sandwell Valley?

If I get a short list together, I might be able to get it taken on board.

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Hi Steve

Not met up with anyone of the old gang for quite a while (since we lost the access at Cosford)

Neil, I think the urban areas are a bit far gone to worry about light pollution now unless there is some dramatic reversal in street lighting policy - even my "quiet" residential street is light up like daylight with high pressure sodium lights that have no shielding - when I complained to Walsall Council that the light outside my house was shining into my property they sent a guy out who stuck gaffer tape on the back edge of the light which did sod all good.

 

It's probably better to focus on areas a bit further out that still have a hope in hell of surviving the ignorance of the bureaucrats.

 

Regards

 

Paul

 

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3 minutes ago, haitch said:

It's probably better to focus on areas a bit further out that still have a hope in hell of surviving the ignorance of the bureaucrats.

Yes... but I have a rare opportunity to make a dent in such ignorance. No point in saying make Darlo a 'dark sky site', but if Barr Beacon can be one there may be other contenders?

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4 hours ago, haitch said:

Hi Steve

Not met up with anyone of the old gang for quite a while (since we lost the access at Cosford)

Neil, I think the urban areas are a bit far gone to worry about light pollution now unless there is some dramatic reversal in street lighting policy - even my "quiet" residential street is light up like daylight with high pressure sodium lights that have no shielding - when I complained to Walsall Council that the light outside my house was shining into my property they sent a guy out who stuck gaffer tape on the back edge of the light which did sod all good.

 

It's probably better to focus on areas a bit further out that still have a hope in hell of surviving the ignorance of the bureaucrats.

 

Regards

 

Paul

 

Shame about Cosford as that was a really good site. I'll have a look around see if there are any others in the area.

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Well to my mind the darkest spot in the Walsalll Borough is probably Pelsall North Common. Brownhills Common and the Chasewater Heaths that fall into Walsall used to be ok but the A5 & the M6Toll hemming it in coupled with floodlit public buildings (especially schools and sports facilities) have pretty much ruined that

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4 hours ago, steve_bham said:

Shame about Cosford as that was a really good site. I'll have a look around see if there are any others in the area.

That would be good ?

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Hi To All, Yes Cosford was a very good site, I only had a couple of outings up there but the sky was really nice and you had a really good 360 view with only a couple of trees to look around.  I think, for its location, it was a really good compromise between travelling miles out of town and having darkish skies, I know probably not truly dark but a good compromise all the same.

I think the Wolves Society have access to a field in Boningdale, but there hasn't been much activity as of late - this was very close to the Cosford site only a mile or so down the road - but it would be nice if we can get some sort of gathering for the Black country/wolves possie - the events up Barr Beacon are really good and very well attended though.

Paul.

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Hi guys, the Wolves location at Bonningale is by arrangement only, we all need a site we can go to at short notice with no problems contacting landowners etc, this has been a problem of course. We all could try Cannock Chase if there was enough of us to occupy a car park we could park a vehicle accross the entrance to stop the doggers. Who are they going to complain to?

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I've got a portion of a campsite booked for the Persieds in August, in Shropshire. Am thinking of making a bit of an event of it? My local society doesn't hold any practical astronomy events, they're more geared for lectures really, so I'd be up for getting together with more West Midlands astronomers who are more 'hands on', and organising some stuff?

I'm in Wolverhampton but tend to go to Shropshire for dark skies.

Edited by Swithin StCleeve
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Woolf always looks at the forest.

Old lithuanian saying. 

In winter time, if you stop for a moment, you can hear your heart beating. It's that remote, no traffic, no lights. As kids we would go camping there, we would leave our cars at the nearest farm, owned by old lady, boys would carry all the equipment from there for several miles down the valley, make ?, then some of us would bring girls and food. At night we would swim (everyone' except me, I have some phobias after going under ice at age 7) in pitch black water. Then someone would take a guitar, start a song (usually the most drunk one), while the rest just stare at the stars. And look great bear go round.

good times. 

Edited by Erla
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Hi,

Just to echo some of the replies in this forum, if there is a meeting set up at a place for observations I would love to attend.

Although recently the weather has not been the best I would still like to observe the summer sky with my telescope and binoculars.

Hope there is enough interest and something is organised soon.

Thanks

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Has anyone given any thought to finding an appropriate camp site, maybe in Shropshire/Brecon. Obviously it would need to be open all year round with no booking required enabling people to turn up when the skies are clear. For me, working full time this would be mostly at weekends and I recognise it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. Social media provides lots of options on notifying others when someone intends to go.

I'm relatively new to astronomy and where I live (Halesowen) it's fairly built-up with lots of light pollution. From what I hear the skies out that way may make it worth the drive?

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There's a campsite on Exmoor that's astronomer friendly. We stayed there and I asked if I could just turn up and pay in they morning, and they said no problem. But I don't get down that way very often!

I know a campsite in the Peak District that might be OK.

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Cannock Chase on Saturday night?

We need sufficient cars to deter any doggers...

The Glacial Boulder car park is (possibly) small enough and far enough away from the road?

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10 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Cannock Chase on Saturday night?

We need sufficient cars to deter any doggers...

The Glacial Boulder car park is (possibly) small enough and far enough away from the road?

Wouldn't fancy Cannock chase to be honest. It doesn't have the best reputation after hours ?

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Fair enough! Parsley Hay in the Peak District is good but a bit far from the BC, but I'm happy to travel further your way to a decent, safe site, as far as Shropshire.

Saturday was looking good but it's gone red on clear outside, still looks good on the met office forecast...

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