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Panda Alvin

Hello from a place near Southampton

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Welcome to you Alvin,

I can confirm the Turf Hill group are no more. That said if I wanted to venture out alone. I goto Telegraph Hill suits your needs nicely.  Its not too remote, the odd Horse, but nothing to trouble you. Also 99% time empty car parking area.

Best Rob

 

 

 

TeleHill.jpg

TeleHill1.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Thanks people, for both your advice and warm welcome.

 

For ones who mentioned the light pollution map, yes I do use it with extreme prejudice😀, I have that and a separate parking map open to compare back and forth.

 

@AdeKing – Yes, it’s the Stony Cross area where I did my initial rounds of scouting, and found the other “hobby” I like to avoid😁. The main hot spots are Cadman’s Pool (both north and south) and Milkham. There are less activity in Janesmoor Pond and the 2x unnamed Stoney Cross Tarmic patches, but still gets a “probing car” occasionally when empty.  I noticed they don’t enter campsites, so my initial worst case scenario was to the set up at the first layby before the main camping area at Long Beech. I have also scouted Winchester, while there are few suitable spots, its slightly less ideal due to the lower accessibility (and a bird glanced my windshield at 25mph 😟).

I agree with your verdict on the So’ton light dome in the New Forest. When I stepped out of my car, even behind tree cover I could instantly locate where Southampton / Fawley was glancing at the sky. The light covered at least 15 degrees from horizon, and no stars could be seen in that zone (not that I was aiming to do so).  I could also spot where Bournemouth was but the effect was much less due to the distance and lower density.

Also, Cranbourne Chase looks like a good place, though for me its twice the time / distance to drive. Do you have any spots to recommend around that area? Tempted to take a long trip someday with an aim to stretch the scope DSO limit under very good conditions.

 

@Rob – Thanks for the confirmation. Telegraph hill is actually next on my list to visit as well, so great to hear from you that place is also suitable with smaller chance of parked cars 🙂.

Sorry to ask one further (and assuming you do astrophotography) - with the close proxmity of the road, say if I was doing an AP exposure at the sky, would you know if a passing car by the road could mess up the shot ?

 

Cheers

Edited by Panda Alvin

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Posted (edited)

There is a car park on the purbecks that might be of interest if you want to come over this way. Its best feature is an excellent southern view. Head up Grange Hill towards the Lulworth firing range and it is just before you enter the FR. 

There are a few lights below in Steeple, but they are well-shielded and well below the line of sight.

Edited by Demonperformer
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36 minutes ago, Panda Alvin said:

Also, Cranbourne Chase looks like a good place, though for me its twice the time / distance to drive. Do you have any spots to recommend around that area? Tempted to take a long trip someday with an aim to stretch the scope DSO limit under very good conditions.

I tend not to go too far from Wimborne and either stop at Badbury Rings on the Wimborne to Blandford Road (B3082) or to Knowlton Church on the Wimborne to Cranborne Road (B3078). I think the skies get better towards Larmer Tree gardens unless they have an event on when it's lit up like the Shard.

Knowlton church can be a bit spooky and there are often people visiting a Pagan worship site there but apart from making them jump or them making me jump I've never had any problems. I tend to go with at least one other though.

I'd recommend joining a local Astronomy group if you can. That's where I got useful info on safe dark sites from. Hampshire Astronomical Society are the group with the observatory I mentioned earlier.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Panda Alvin said:

@AdeKing

 

@Rob – Thanks for the confirmation. Telegraph hill is actually next on my list to visit as well, so great to hear from you that place is also suitable with smaller chance of parked cars 🙂.

Sorry to ask one further (and assuming you do astrophotography) - with the close proxmity of the road, say if I was doing an AP exposure at the sky, would you know if a passing car by the road could mess up the shot ?

 

Cheers

No problem.. Its not really an issue. Cars passing are low, as in 1/3 per hour very low!. Also use the car as a shield from the road once parked. And make an extra home made dewshield out of card to help with any (very little) stray light. Yes its dark, so a few red light torches + red light tripod leg lights are worth getting.. saves you hit the tripod when imaging :)

Edited by Rob
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Here you go!

 

TeleHillSetup.jpg

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As already mentioned, Old Winchester Hill is within easy reach and stunning on a moonless night.

Pete Lawrence from the sky at night is a regular visitor there, but I've yet to bump into him!

Accessibility isn't great with lots of gear but this depends on the individual.

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Demonperformer - Don’t know the area too well. Had a look at the map, are you referring to Tyneham view point ? Anyway, looked at a picture and gotta say that view looks amazing. Maybe I'll come during the day and point it at the firing range. 😏 Jokes aside, that area actually looks good for a weekend trip. Maybe I’ll drop by for the castle, cove and chippy during the day and do some viewing during the night.

 

AdeKing – Thanks for the recommendation, I probably won’t scout beforehand due to the distance but I’ll keep your advice in mind when I go over to those 2 areas. I’ll also take a look into few of the Astronomy groups – tempted to go to one of those open evenings in Pompey and see how I feel.

 

Rob – Got it, and thanks for the picture. Guess I’ll shop around for those lights probably on Amazon, struggled to find it on FLO.

 

Jonk – I agree, the old Winchester hill is indeed a stunning site, but I don’t know if my wife will be happy with us venturing so far out of range from the car in the dark. 

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20 hours ago, Panda Alvin said:

Demonperformer - Don’t know the area too well. Had a look at the map, are you referring to Tyneham view point ?

This is a map of the area so you can get your bearings, and attached image of enlargement, with carpark arrowed. Be warned, Grange Hill is narrow, windy and steep, but most drivers seem to treat it with respect.

Image1.jpg

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Did another tour of the new forest last night. Other than a scraped front bumper from a wrong turn it was generally a very successful night. 

 

As promised in earlier post, Ill give a brief report of what I experienced last night. Overall, these sites have their own advantages in their own way.

Telegraph Hill - Probably the most flattest / accessible places to deploy, I like how there is a mini stone crossing to go over the car park ditch.  Unfortunately I don't know if its a seasonal occasion. but the volume traffic was much more than what I was expecting. A vehicle was driving past on average every 4 mins, but this is not really an issue at all and does not affect night viewing.

Turf Hill - Have the highest tree height & most cover out of three, but easily ignored in winter, or by walk slightly further out in summer. The location is most quiet out of the three to view in as traffic drives along the B3078 rather the B3080 where the site is, I only saw a car about one every 15 minutes.

Deadman Hill - Almost 180 degree whole sky is available at this site and in terms of view, its actually the best out of the three. Light domes from Salisbury, Southampton and Bournemouth is about equal at this point. The only major downside is how the road outside is angled, a 500m stretch from Godshil direction faces directly to the car park. Vehicles with full beam takes takes around half a minute to drive past, so its very distracting and very easily to lose night adapted vision.

 

Anyhow, thanks guys. I now have a few site to go across South Hampshire and Dorset with your help.

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Hi Alvin,

I'm new here too, based in Romsey.  I was up Danebury Hill near Stockbridge last night, seemed like it should be a goodish spot, although I wasn't really there late enough to check how dark it really gets.  Possibly another option for you?!

Have you joined any clubs?

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