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cotterless45

Skye ,with 10" Dob

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cotterless45    9,325
Posted (edited)

Lovely drive up through the highlands arriving in Skye to a mixed bag of weather. Up at 2.00 , opened the front door and it was the darkest sky that I'd ever seen. Leo was hard to find and that Misty string of bright clouds low in the east was the brilliant Milky Way. Just the distant lights from Lochmaddy were the only lights about. By eye the stunning Coma Berenices was a veritable sparkling hair net beneath Leo. Ursa Major just looked glorious.

Kicked off with the Leo galaxies, the Triplet looked particularly friendly ! Using the PSA soon got around the other groups before dropping into the Virgo bowl . Trying to id the galaxies here was just awesome. Back up to Canes Venatici and the galaxies that I had most wanted to see. It's quite easy to star hop from Cor Caroli and Chara. The "Whale" (NGC 4361 ) stretched across the fov,  I caught the "Hockey stick" just out of the fov. So many stars to hop from.

Up to M51 near the zenith and a wonderful view of cores and structure with NGC 5195 showing a bright core. "Bodes" was just draw dropping  with both being bright , but M81 showing it's great size. As did M101 which filled the centre of the view. Swung low to get "Caroline's Rose" off the end of Caph. Beautifully framed crystal rose in a full star field , it nearly looked lost ! Globular clusters looked superb against a black background , just a mass of diamonds from M13, M3 and M53.

Spent a lot of time just wandering about and eyeballing , including some strong Lyrid meteors ,after a few hours the wind really headed up from the east along with predawn through Cygnus. Packed in huge grin still excited at the views. Forget eps, mounts , fridgefreezers and Ibiza, everyone should head for dark skies ! Old Nick.

 

For those who know the area, Castle Moil (below with the boats) suffered a recent lightening strike removing much of one tower, amazing to see the ruins left.IMG_5639.JPG.69569b074d976232dd438a471eb300c3.JPGIMG_5640.JPG.9e089c2baa618f0bce06ea5b1e6db692.JPGIMG_5637.thumb.JPG.a5826819855d2cfae2525ea125f64e53.JPGIMG_5642.thumb.JPG.1d6a1043c5ce1a9556a7a640cb5a26b5.JPGIMG_5644.thumb.JPG.b7f337f33b8691cab2ad855354235bb4.JPG

View from the conservatory to Dunvegan Head this morning,IMG_5641.thumb.JPG.0c130a84067203eb87485fa870f72a71.JPG

Edited by cotterless45
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David Levi    293

Absolutely fantastic report. Great description, excellent sketches and it's always good to see some photos. I was out at a dark sky site last night but nothing compared with the skies that you must have had. I think that a trip to the Western Isles has to be something to aim at for the future. Wish I was there.

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bingevader    756

Super report and great sketches as always.

I've never tried observing from a fridge freezer.

Skye looks much more preferable.

Lucky chap. :)

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wookie1965    1,687

Oh wow I am so glad you got clear skies, I am so jealous I am saving up now I am going to Skye I want those skies. Brilliant report and sketches two objects I have wanted to see through my own scope the triplet and M51.

Only ever seen them through Damians, caught the whale and hockey stick at Buxton with you.

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Littleguy80    1,720

Lovely report, Nick. Those sketches are brilliant! My wife has asked me before if there are places we could go for an astronomy holiday. She's not interested in astronomy so I had to suggest Hawaii to get her interest. Skye might be a tougher sell ;) 

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Timebandit    1,627

 

 

Really stunning landscape in the day, and truly dark sky at night. A place every astronomer should get to.

A 10" of aperture under those ink black Sky's will really Punch above its weight 👍

Enjoy 

 

 

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fireballxl5    185

great report, photos and sketches! We stayed over in Portree for a few days on our way to Cape Wrath for the annular solar eclipse at Durness back in 2003. A great holiday! I need to go back to Skye...

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PeterW    512

... many non Astro friends seem to be heading to Skye for the scenery and walking... Astro is a bonus if the clouds are willing.

 

peter 

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Eastman    143

Great report, really great sketches.

That looks like a great observing spot you had over there.

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estwing    4,819

great stuff Nicko....will be there in October so don't hoover them all up!....nice pics, clear skies old bean.

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scarp15    2,527

Fabulous report Nick, you transported us all there. Losing your way through the constellations, that's what its about. 

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Patbloke    246

Nice report Cobbler... Great pics! You can't beat truly dark skies fella. Whenever I've had the pleasure I just stare up and out into space taking it all in! 

Be careful on those mountains.... :-)

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Trikeflyer    158

You've sold it to me Nick. Gotta get up there now I've read your report! 

Steve 

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Stu    17,496

Fab Nick! So pleased you’ve had a cracking clear sky. Great sketches, M51 looks amazing.

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mert    176

Nice first image of Glencoe. Unfortunately there’s a lot of rain up here.

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Charic    2,322

Skye is only a 3 hour drive to the West, but I cant recall off the top of my head, the Month I last visited Skye, but it was 'out of season' according to local knowledge  ( the reason we chanced the visit ) and 'we' only managed to camp one night on the island, as we got eaten alive by the midges, and have not been back since.
I  can still experience  these little critters locally at some of the fisheries and moorlands that I visit, but nothing on the grand scale that Skye is world famous for.
I have also discovered and use when fishing, Avon's  product called Skin So Soft. (It's been said that Avon are loathe to accept that their product is probably one of the best products out there, as it was not designed as a midge destroyer )but this stuff is great and I would also suggest that anyone wanting to buy the product sources their own local Avon rep to get the product at a sensible price, rather than the higher tourist rates that you may come across this far North.

 

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mapstar    5,816

A beautiful read Nick, can't wait to get back up there fof some inky black hauls. 

Keep em coming 

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cotterless45    9,325
1 hour ago, Charic said:

ut of season' according to local knowledge  ( the reason we chanced the visit ) and 'we' only managed to camp one night on the island, as we got eaten alive by the midges, and have not been back since.

No midges from end of September to mid May. It's a 10 hour drive for us, but the magic draws us back every year.

It's the first time that I'd ever seen a sky dark brown with stars ! The only thing that you have to watch out for is the seasonal army of invading tourists. Oh , there's also the annual invasion of those mirror mad monster Dob chaps !

 Out of season is de rigour and cheaper for a comfy cottage , hopefully under 

clear skies ! Nick,

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saac    1,140
Posted (edited)

I was reading recently that Skye has become a victim of its own success and is being overwhelmed by the impact of tourists during the peak summer months.  Now I know this is not the time that the astro community visit so we are not to blame, but for those who love Skye it does raise concerns. In my younger days I used to do a lot of munro bagging and was a frequent visitor to the Cairngorm plateau.  This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and special scientific interest.; in fact  I'd go so far as to say it is the jewel in the environmental crown of UK. The Cairngorm plateau is home to a quite unique biome more familiar to the artic than one would expect of the UK/Europe.  The area was protected by the fact that it was generally difficult to access - it was certainly not easily accessible to tourism. I remember then having very mixed emotions when in 2001 a licence was granted for the Caringorm  funicular rail. Yes, I well understand the need to support our very rural communities with enterprise opportunities and the employment and growth they can bring. At the same time though we need to work very hard to protect these truly wild places; it really is exceptional that our little part of the planet has what is widely recognised as true wilderness.  I do hope we get the balance right between protection and access.  And yes for anyone who has not been to Skye with their telescope, put it on your bucket list , it really is as good as the reports by Nick and the rest of the Dob mob post. I'm hoping for a visit in October with the school's Dob so may even see some of you guys up there .

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-40874488

Jim 

Edited by saac
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Charic    2,322
Posted (edited)

The famous Three Chimneys was on our list of places to visit, and hopefully dine there, having read so many great reports.

Maybe another time, who knows?

Edited by Charic

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Ibbo!    5,143
3 hours ago, cotterless45 said:

No midges from end of September to mid May. It's a 10 hour drive for us, but the magic draws us back every year.

It's the first time that I'd ever seen a sky dark brown with stars ! The only thing that you have to watch out for is the seasonal army of invading tourists. Oh , there's also the annual invasion of those mirror mad monster Dob chaps !

 Out of season is de rigour and cheaper for a comfy cottage , hopefully under 

clear skies ! Nick,

Great report.

 

Did Mull a few years ago only took the solar scope and binos, but was still a treat.

 

Need to find a place that will take the hounds and us .

Skye looks like it maybe the next venture that way on and next time the dob will be crammed in the car somewhere.

Wondering if dragging the tin snail up is a feasable option.

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