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joncrawf

coastal observing

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I wondered if there is any advantages in observing over a large body of water (sea and large lakes). Presumably bodies of water radiate less heat into less heat into the sky in comparison to land, does this translate in better seeing?  

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It looks like a nice place to be:

5514587165_ab57f1b653.jpg

It's the Udaipur Solar Observatory in India. According to its home page:

"The Udaipur Solar Observatory is situated on an island in the middle of the Lake Fatehsagar (Location: 240 35.1' : 730 42.8' ) and the main office building is located at its NW-shore near Bari Road - Rani Road Junction. The sky conditions at Udaipur are quite favourable for solar observations. The large water body surrounding the telescopes decreases the amount of heating of the surface layers. This decreases the turbulence in the air mass and thereby improves the image quality and seeing. The main objective of obtaining the high spatial and temporal resolution observations of solar photospheric and chromospheric activity is to understand the various dynamic phenomena occurring on the surface of the Sun."

https://www.prl.res.in/~uso/

If I had a job there, I reckon I'd spend too much time drinking beer in a deck chair on the balcony to do much research. Dreaming is free!

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Thanks for that @Putaendo Patrick.

It struck me the other day when I was walking the dogs at my local beach that it would make a great spot to set up my scope to view the Eastern sky which is now beginning to bring forth some of the winter constellations, Taurus & Pleiades are beginning to make an appearance. The beach I'm thinking of should be fairly dark as there are high cliffs behind the beach and access is easy too. I just wondered if beaches or coastal cliffs are often used for observing

 

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Years ago I enjoyed some great observing over the sea in the Mediterranean during the summer months. However there are times of the year when mists and fog might well be a serious problem! Long-term exposure to salty sea air can also cause damage, and sand could really wreck eyepieces, so be extra careful especially if you have expensive equipment.

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I have been looking for dark sky locations along the (flat as a pancake) Essex coast. But where accessible by road it is so developed that the urban light pollution is just as bad as my home locality. Hence further inland is better. However, my nearest true dark sky location (Milky Way class) is coastal, but that's in Norfolk, a 90 minute drive each way. How Essex ever staged the 2012 Olympic Mountain biking defies belief. I would love to discover a local elevated spot with dark skies.

I can imagine more remote coastal locations like Devon & Cornwall are vastly superior, and am planning to spend some time there soon. But if any body has any good suggestions close to Colchester I would value them. 

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I live about 300 Metres from a beach in west Wales. There are three issues I have faced pretty regular, moisture, sand and wind.
It really is surprising just how much sand and salt is in the air and this becomes very apparent the morning after washing the car :(

The scope has been ringing wet a few times this summer after a late evening of imaging, this is something I have also noticed when doing wide-field shots with a DSLR. I have done wide field milky way shots in the sand dunes and just off the beach and even on a really calm night its surprising the condition the lens comes back in and always requires some very careful cleaning of the front element afterwards to remove salt residue and sand particles.

The other side effect that you do not really notice unless you have shot over a nice dark west facing sea is just how light the horizon is right up till astrological twilight, you can go just a few mile in land and be in complete darkness.

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I enjoy a Summer session on the high cliffs. The biggest problem is itinerant insomniac OAPs creeping up and loudly proclaiming 'Bonsoir'!

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I live very near to a north west coast and it sucks!  Lovely clear afternoon and evening, soon as it starts to go dark the clouds roll in. I think they generate over the water as the air temp drops. Happens too often to be a coincidence. Couple of miles inland no problem so far as I can see.  Boy did I pick the wrong south facing garden...

Disappointed Dan

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On 8/20/2016 at 17:32, RichM63 said:

I enjoy a Summer session on the high cliffs. The biggest problem is itinerant insomniac OAPs creeping up and loudly proclaiming 'Bonsoir'!

You should've been a script writer for 'Allo 'Allo!

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salty air is not good for the optics, newts in particular.

a windy beach can be a real danger, lot of sand might suddenly be blown into the optics, dew shields might help some.

i would prefer some elevation or distance from the beach.

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