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Freff

South Wales Astronomy Group (SWAG) Star Party March 2017

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I am pleased to announce that the South Wales Astronomy Group (SWAG) has arranged our 6th  Star Party again at the superb Pencelli Castle Caravan & Camping Park. Sited in the Brecon Beacons National Park and Dark Sky Reserve, this location offers some truly dark skies which are excellent for observing and imaging. Please read Site Conditions.

 

The main nights will be Thurs 23rd - Sunday 26th March 2017. The New Moon is on Tuesday 28th. The Oaks has been reserved from Thurs 23rd - Sunday 26th March 2017 inclusive. Anyone wanting additional nights outside these dates please let me know as soon as possible.

 

Pitches and hard standings (about 25) have been reserved for us in the Oaks area. All pitches have EHU and have the least obstructed views of the night sky. If bookings exceed the pitches on the Oaks, there is the Meadows area that can be used for tents only but has no EHU. This area also offers excellent views.  The Meadows cannot be booked until the Oaks has been filled. This will avoid unfilled pitches on the Oaks being used by the public during the event.

 

Bookings as last year will be made directly through me. This will avoid any difficulties contacting the camp site wardens or any confusion between their booking list and ours. Payments for your pitch can be paid on arrival at Pencelli Castle.

 

 Please Do Not Contact Pencelli Caravan Park for Bookings. They Will Not Have Our Pitch Allocations And Won’t Know Where To Put You.

 

When booking please PM me your SGL name and real name for our records/planning. Your real name will be forwarded to the campsite for their registration/booking. Also your preferred pitch if you have one. Pitch allocations will be posted on the forum in your SGL name as they come in.

 

If you attended last year, then all that’s required is your SGL name and the nights you require with or without EHU.

 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me either email or PM.

 

We hope you can make it to the South Wales Group 6th Star Party and look forward to seeing you.

Edited by Freff
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Thanks Tony, will have a chat with SHMBO and let you know what days we want. Will be in caravan again.  Mick.

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Hi Tony,

Having bought a caravan this year, I'd like to sign up and make this my first star party!

I'll pm my details over.

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Hi Tony,

           Please sign me up for all nights, same pitch as the last few years if possible.

Cheers,

           Justyn

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Hi Tony,

           Please sign me up for all nights, same pitch as the last few years if possible.

Cheers,

           Justyn

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I'm not sure if it's because of our move to the spring time, but most of the hard standings have gone. 

There maybe one or two left in The Oaks. Other than that, we may have to use the Orchard if the owners let us. 

The Orchard is fine except it suffers a bit more light from the shower block (I'm sure we can do something about that), and it is a bit further from the main group.

Those who have PM'd me have their places. I'll post details later after talking to the owner.

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Hi Owen

There is a pitch for you just not sure at present which one. Hopefully I will see the site owners on the weekend regarding pitches and what is available. I will keep everyone informed as I get any details. HTH

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And finally.....here is my image of the Flaming Star nebula taken at last years SWAG star party.

 

Flaming star Stage 5C2A coppy crop size2.jpg

Edited by reddoss
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Very nice Justyn, not long before you get another go from Pencelli. :icon_biggrin:

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Here are the first pitch listings for March.

There had to be some juggling of pitches to accommodate other campers who want days before us.

We will all have pitches for the days requested, but may have to move to a pitch one up or down to the ones they had last year. 

 

                mickD                                   Pitch    5                     23 - 26

                freff                                      Pitch   4                      21 - 26

                tich                                       Pitch   29                    19 -26

                reddross                                Pitch   13                    23 -26

                bobxuk                                  Pitch  15                     23 -26

                l8-nite                                   Pitch   6                      23 - 26

                bats                                      Pitch   3                      24 -26

       obrazell                                 Pitch   2                      22 – 27                                                     

       parallaxerr                             pitch   1                      24 - 25 

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This does not bode well if we are sharing with non astronomer campers in terms of stray light etc.

Owen

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It's very unlikely Owen that that will happen, it's never been a problem in the past.

Unlike the SGL star parties we are unable to book the whole site en masse, therefore unless we get good numbers it would be unfair to expect the site to turn away trade. We do share the site with other campers, but because of the time of year they are few and far,  usually youngsters on adventure training in The Meadow and one or two elsewhere.  They keep the lights down and we the noise. :icon_biggrin:

Because we have had to change from October to March this year and the opposite for SGL, in essence both groups having two star parties in a year. A few have already committed to other star parties for this year so I expect the numbers to be down a bit. Hopefully things will level off and get back to normal again. HTH

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4 hours ago, obrazell said:

This does not bode well if we are sharing with non astronomer campers in terms of stray light etc.

Owen

I can confirm Tony's comment above that it is not usually a problem. I have taken a number of images at this star party without any stray light problems.

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Just for interest are most of the people coming to this imagers or is there a mix of imagers and visual observers.

 

Owen

 

 

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I would say visual generally, especially if the Dob Mob attend.

Some do both, I image when I can.

Here are a few observers from last October.

 

20161002_153328~2.jpg

Edited by Freff
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             Just a brief update. 

 

                                                                                                          Dates

                mickD                                   Pitch    5                     23 - 26

                freff                                      Pitch   4                      21 - 26

                tich                                       Pitch   29                    19 -26

                reddross                                Pitch   13                    23 -26

                bobxuk                                  Pitch  15                     23 -26

                l8-nite                                    Pitch   6                     23 - 26

                bats                                       Pitch   3                     24 -26

      obrazell                                   Pitch   2                     22 – 27                                                     

      parallaxerr                               pitch   1                     24 - 25 

                andyuk                                   pitch   12                    23 - 25

                lee_b                                      pitch   14                    23 - 25

Edited by Freff
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Hi Tony! Is this starcamp open to the public and if so is it OK for me to add it to our website?

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Hi Tarazed, this is a tricky one to answer simply.

The star party is a small event of about 20 SGL members and has only ever been announced in the SGL forum.

Bookings for the event are not available via the camp site only by myself, in the forum. 

Of course everyone is welcome to attend the event, but. 

Although SGL does not sponsor or have any involvement  in the star party, I would hate to contravene any of the SGL rules by agreeing.

In principle I would say it would be ok. I will pass it by the mods and get back to you with any details. 

 

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I would say more than tricky as there maybe a lot of expensive equipment lying around. I would suggest that it is not advertised publically. It will also depend on whether the attendees wish to spend time showing public things or doing their opwn thing.

 

Owen

 

 

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I don't think he means the general public just walking in and looking around.

No campsite would allow that, certainly at Pencelli where all  visitors, guests and campers have to report to reception on arrival. 

If it is what you suggests Tarazed means, then it is a resounding  no.

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Question to all SWAG caravan/motorhomers...

I'm new to towing and this will be the first run out with our new van, apart from when I collected it. Which is the preferred approach to the camp site?

I'll be coming up the A40 and the sat nav suggests going through Talybont, which looks a little "tight". Would I be better off continuing North a bit on the A40 and approaching Pencelli from the North? This route looks a little less stressful!

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