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How dark is it on Ardnamurchan Peninsula in Summer


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Hi,

I am planning a visit to Ardnamurchan (in Scotland) during the last week in May and the first week in June 2016.

Researching the night time darkness it seems to go dark at 23:00 and bright again by 03:30am. 

But how dark will it be? Should I take my astro gear?, will it be worth the effort given that the Moon will be in the Last Quarter at the time.

I camped on Skye in mid June about 6 years ago and it was dim at midnight and seeable again at 02:00am. I could see the outline of the Cullin Hills when I adventured out of the tent!

Thanks

Adrian

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Mebbee Aye - Mebbee  Nooooo !  (hic!)  

Hi Folks, Well, I am back down south again, brilliant weather here for ducks, rain, rain and even heavier rain since I got home. I spent nearly two weeks in bonnie Scotland and 'ere a wee dr

My dad said he went up to Scotland once and woke up at 2AM... He said it was like daylight so I can only assume he was there during summer. Planetary will be fine, but deep sky probably won't hap

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My dad said he went up to Scotland once and woke up at 2AM... He said it was like daylight so I can only assume he was there during summer.

Planetary will be fine, but deep sky probably won't happen.

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7 minutes ago, Floater said:

Take something, Adrian - scope, bins, anything.

Just think how you'll feel if you missed an opportunity. ??

+1, and +1 for pipnina as well

I was about to post :- depends upon which Astro Gear you ( Adrian) were thinking of, for averted imagination obscure fuzzies probably not, for brighter things (doubles, novae etc) yes take some gear, and if you didnt and Beetlejuice went nova you'd be kicking yourself ;);)  heheee. 

Edited by SilverAstro
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Hi Adrian.

At that latitude may/june it will be as dark as Watford is at 8pm tonight. At best.

But views of Mars and Saturn actually might be pretty good then. And if so, binoculars just wont be enough.:smiley:

 

Rune

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Hi Folks,

A big thanks for your recommendations....

I planned to take my Swarovski ATS/80 (mag 20 to 60)  birding telescope and  8x42 bins for birdwatching and seawatching, these can be used for astro work in a limited way.

As I will be with 17 others in a bunk house, (16 of the club are sleeping in the bunk house while 2 of us are camping outside) and  I may have to take diving gear for a friend, I will finally decide when I am packing the car if there is room in the car for a larger scope. 

In the meantime, I will take Rune's advice and check the sky at 20:00 on the first clear night in Watford  to see how bright it is.

Anyway, I will keep you posted on the trip. (If Skipper Billy is around at the time may be we can meet up for a wee dram....)

Thanks again.

Adrian

 

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You'll probably regret not having even a grab and Go with you if you do decide to 
take nothing. I mean how much space would it take up.
Go on, risk a G & G , you know
it makes sense :icon_biggrin:.

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On 6.4.2016 at 17:46, Adrian Condon said:

Researching the night time darkness it seems to go dark at 23:00 and bright again by 03:30am. 

If coming Saturday night is clear, I will be able to tell you afterwards, as we have these times for darkness the coming weekend (at 59 degrees north). And I plan an observing session.

What I remember from having been on Skye many years ago, is that the weather changes rapidly and you can easily have 4 seasons in a day, even in an hour. So maybe sticking to binoculars is not a bad idea. They are easier to put away if it starts raining.

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During summer time the darkest time of night is 1a.m. so any observing session should aim to have that time as mid-point. At Ardnamurchan in late May the Sun reaches about 12 degrees below horizon at 1a.m. and by early June it's about 10 degrees. To do deep-sky astronomy you really want the Sun to be a bare minimum 13 degrees below horizon; as it is, the sky will be in twilight, with the horizon clearly visible and the Milky Way invisible. The number of visible stars will be the same as you'd expect at a light polluted site in full night time.

I'd take binoculars for bird watching, good walking boots, a fishing rod, midgie repellent and waterproofs. Scotland (my homeland) is a wonderful place, but not for summer astronomy.

Edited by acey
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8 hours ago, Adrian Condon said:

In the meantime, I will take Rune's advice and check the sky at 20:00 on the first clear night in Watford  to see how bright it is.

 

ouch. I meant sameish dark as Watford at 9pm... Sorry

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9 hours ago, Adrian Condon said:

Hi Folks,

A big thanks for your recommendations....

I planned to take my Swarovski ATS/80 (mag 20 to 60)  birding telescope and  8x42 bins for birdwatching and seawatching, these can be used for astro work in a limited way.

As I will be with 17 others in a bunk house, (16 of the club are sleeping in the bunk house while 2 of us are camping outside) and  I may have to take diving gear for a friend, I will finally decide when I am packing the car if there is room in the car for a larger scope. 

In the meantime, I will take Rune's advice and check the sky at 20:00 on the first clear night in Watford  to see how bright it is.

Anyway, I will keep you posted on the trip. (If Skipper Billy is around at the time may be we can meet up for a wee dram....)

Thanks again.

Adrian

 

Oooohhh - did someone mention a wee dram !   Count me in ! PM me if you head this way and I will gladly help you find good spots.

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1 hour ago, Skipper Billy said:

Oooohhh - did someone mention a wee dram !   Count me in ! PM me if you head this way and I will gladly help you find good spots.

Now then, Billy.

Just because you're astro gear is away, will you not be careful and not be getting carried away too, yourself now ...

??

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Folks,

Well, I am back down south again, brilliant weather here for ducks, rain, rain and even heavier rain since I got home.

I spent nearly two weeks in bonnie Scotland and 'ere a wee drop of rain was felt. Brilliant sunshine all the time.

The night time was short. I was able to climb into my tent at midnight without a torch! (taking the extra batteries was a waste of time!)

I saw Jupiter and the Moon, but that was about it. The sky never really got dark, glad I left my main astro gear at home.

I was introduced to the midges, pesky little creatures who ate me alive in Glencoe has I set my tent up.

The midges seem to operate at dawn and dusk when it is a bit damp, did not experience any during the hot sunny days.

Had a great bird watching break, especially on the islands off Mull.

I hope to be back in Scotland at the end of July and early August in Dumfries.

Of course, I plan to attend Scotland's premier star party in Galloway at the end of October and early November 2016, the skies will be dark and very dark.

Thanks for all your helpful advice.....

Cheers

Adrian

 

 

Edited by Adrian Condon
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Glad you had a good trip, the weather can make or break a camping holiday.

Midges can be torture in The Highlands in the summer. We get a few here in the Welsh hills- but seemingly less numerous and less tenacious!

I'd like to invent a solar powered midge killer featuring UV LED's and some slow release CO2 brew to lure them in. But I haven't worked out a low energy of actually killing the blighters (most methods seem to need high voltages).

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That's about it, had a summer in Skye a few years ago, got up at 1:00am took one look at the pale blue-gray sky and went back to bed... in February, however, it was a different story and some fun driving over snowy passes in blizzard in the TOTAL dark on the way there...

Neil

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Hi Gordon,

The midges in Glencoe campsite are protected by law, I have been told when I asked.... The site is owned by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and run by the Camping and Caravan Club. The problem is that they (NTS) have a Visitor Centre next to the campsite, where the Centre Manager house is home to the Common Pipistrelle bat. They are not allowed to destroy the bats main food supply.

The local garage in Glencoe has a supply of Repel Midge spray with something called Saltidin in it, 12ml costs £8.00. It seemed to do the trick....

They also sell Avon Skin so Soft which also comes recommended. I bought both.... so I have ample supply for next visit...

I also camped out at Rosemarkie but the wind off the sea seemed to control the midges.

Cheers

Adrian

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