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Ships and Stars

What can I see in short-night spring/summer Scotland? Or pack it away for awhile!

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Hi all, just wondering if there is any window of darkness suitable for telescope viewing in summer Scotland? I use suncalc and moon calc, maybe there is a short window of acceptable darkness around midnight-2am at 56-58N? Are planets much better targets throughout the summer than any DSOs I presume, or should I just work on fine-tuning things/accessories for Autumn? Cheers all.

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1 hour ago, Ships and Stars said:

Hi all, just wondering if there is any window of darkness suitable for telescope viewing in summer Scotland? I use suncalc and moon calc, maybe there is a short window of acceptable darkness around midnight-2am at 56-58N? Are planets much better targets throughout the summer than any DSOs I presume, or should I just work on fine-tuning things/accessories for Autumn? Cheers all.

I am 57º N and I pack up about now until late August. Partly due to the lack of properly dark hours and the increasingly long twilight period.

Secondly its a good time for maintenance and a thorough drying out

Thirdly - we have a a very seasonal business and April to August is 100% flat out and I am usually too tired when I get home to be thinking about staying up until 0300 (I must be getting old!).

 

 

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1 hour ago, Skipper Billy said:

I am 57º N and I pack up about now until late August. Partly due to the lack of properly dark hours and the increasingly long twilight period.

Secondly its a good time for maintenance and a thorough drying out

Thirdly - we have a a very seasonal business and April to August is 100% flat out and I am usually too tired when I get home to be thinking about staying up until 0300 (I must be getting old!).

 

 

Hi Billy, thanks for the information - yes was thinking it's game over until later in summer/early autumn for anything serious. I just bought a telescope so keen on having a go of course before it gets too bright at night. I agree with the 3am part, it still sounds like a good idea at 8 or 9pm, then by midnight bed seems equally appealing! At least you're busy in the summer to keep the astronomy cravings at bay. I'll try and get a quick first light in next two weeks in the wee hours, weather and work permitting. Fingers crossed and hope you have a good season with work!

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Posted (edited)

I live 61°N and during summertime I casually observe the Moon, planets and occasionally the sun as well. Some binary stars (such as Albireo) can be observed, but that’s about it. The planets have unfortunately been very low in the sky for a few years now. The image below is a good representation of the light conditions here in Finland during summer. The picture was taken on the 1st of July at 00:54. ?

4933D4CE-D152-4DD3-B799-09FA2B40CE5B.jpeg

Edited by AstroFin
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14 hours ago, Ships and Stars said:

Hi all, just wondering if there is any window of darkness suitable for telescope viewing in summer Scotland? I use suncalc and moon calc, maybe there is a short window of acceptable darkness around midnight-2am at 56-58N? Are planets much better targets throughout the summer than any DSOs I presume, or should I just work on fine-tuning things/accessories for Autumn? Cheers all.

 

Welcome from Land Down Under

There is always Option 2

Fly south for the summer

Next door neighbours currently have her parents out from Essex, England

John

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Posted (edited)

Planets and Moon too low, no dark window, Sun at the minimum, so not really interesting in white light.

Try Sun in H-alpha. ?

Edited by BGazing
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Hello all, thanks for the input. Got the big dob assembled today, a monster! Finland wins easily for latitude ?, I've been to Lake Kilpisjarvi, Enontekio in February for the northern lights, absolutely amazing! I'd love to visit Australia, both for southern astronomy and Toyota Land Cruiser 70s, my other weak spot (sold my 70 last year, maybe another one someday) but the piggy bank is a bit empty after my last purchase. Thanks for the H-alpha tip - the moon is definitely on the list, might get lucky with Mars, will see what's around in the skies after midnight. I'll do some research on solar filters, that could be interesting with the right filter - I've seen H-alpha filters but wasn't sure yet what they were for, I'll ordering a H-beta for the Horsehead et al in the Autumn, fingers crossed... Cheers all!

IMG_20190408_163211685_HDR~2_filtered.jpg

IMG_20190408_164513603~2_filtered.jpg

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Just to be sure, I recommended dedicated H-alpha solar scope or (if you already have a refractor or two) a Daystar Quark.

The trouble with summer planets and Moon is that they are very low even from my 44 lat. At 57 i would not even bother with them, frankly. Dispersion would ruin the picture on a big dob, and using ADC is not that easy on dobs.

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15 hours ago, BGazing said:

Just to be sure, I recommended dedicated H-alpha solar scope or (if you already have a refractor or two) a Daystar Quark.

The trouble with summer planets and Moon is that they are very low even from my 44 lat. At 57 i would not even bother with them, frankly. Dispersion would ruin the picture on a big dob, and using ADC is not that easy on dobs.

Thanks BGazing, I will figure something out.

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The trouble with that telescope is that surely you will need to shroud it for safety if you want to view the sun - have you got the shroud for it?

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And wont the shroud need to be solar safe too, as standard martial lets light through.

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4 hours ago, JOC said:

The trouble with that telescope is that surely you will need to shroud it for safety if you want to view the sun - have you got the shroud for it?

 

4 hours ago, happy-kat said:

And wont the shroud need to be solar safe too, as standard martial lets light through.

I shall definitely read up on the safety aspect - I have the shroud but was thinking due to the mirror size it would present problems. I'm not particularly keen on starting out with solar observation, so will seek ample advice here before I attempt that one. Don't want to accidentally burn a hole through my head! ?

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You don’t need total darkness. If you can see the stars, there will be something up there! I think that you mentioned an OIII filter in a different thread. Check out the Veil nebula. I should imagine that you might still be ok for another 3 or 4 weeks. The one target that you have got to try is the M13 The Great cluster in Hercules.

The sun? 20” scope? Not sure that I would risk it.

Paul 

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I wouldn't go for solar with that scope....

Like Paul says try to get on the veil as soon as...

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I'm at 55.5N and the season has one last hurrah here.  I've just been out for an hour or two and even with a 20% waxing moon the sky is bright.  Full moon in 10 days puts me back to late April/1st week in May which is really the last chance for DSO work until late August.

Clusters are just about doable over the summer and planets too, but as has been noted, the planets are very low so not good seeing for a while.

If you get bored with the dob, let me know, I'll be up the A90 in a jiffy ?

Richard

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11 hours ago, JOC said:

The trouble with that telescope is that surely you will need to shroud it for safety if you want to view the sun - have you got the shroud for it?

My local astronomy shop has same scope on display, and sold two recently

One of my club members also has a 16" SW collapsible Dob

My astronomy shop has correct shroud for both

I use my 10" collapsible Dob without shroud when solar viewing, though the primary mirror is not exposed

John  

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19 hours ago, Paul73 said:

You don’t need total darkness. If you can see the stars, there will be something up there! I think that you mentioned an OIII filter in a different thread. Check out the Veil nebula. I should imagine that you might still be ok for another 3 or 4 weeks. The one target that you have got to try is the M13 The Great cluster in Hercules.

The sun? 20” scope? Not sure that I would risk it.

Paul 

Thanks Paul! Not too bothered about messing around with sun viewing, more of a DSO fella at the moment. Thanks for the tips on M13 and Veil nebula, hoping to get another go before too long!

15 hours ago, BiggarDigger said:

I'm at 55.5N and the season has one last hurrah here.  I've just been out for an hour or two and even with a 20% waxing moon the sky is bright.  Full moon in 10 days puts me back to late April/1st week in May which is really the last chance for DSO work until late August.

Clusters are just about doable over the summer and planets too, but as has been noted, the planets are very low so not good seeing for a while.

If you get bored with the dob, let me know, I'll be up the A90 in a jiffy ?

Richard

Hi Richard, when my back goes out for good, I'll send you a message regarding the 500p ? I'll see what I can coax out of the brighter nights, might get a few more sights in yet, thank you!

15 hours ago, cletrac1922 said:

My local astronomy shop has same scope on display, and sold two recently

One of my club members also has a 16" SW collapsible Dob

My astronomy shop has correct shroud for both

I use my 10" collapsible Dob without shroud when solar viewing, though the primary mirror is not exposed

John  

The 500p has some known issues, but they do seem to be fairly popular. Most of the problems people have had are relatively easy fixes in my mind. It's a lot scope! I might look for a different shroud - it's the 500p one, but seems a right faff to put on. Admittedly, I haven't had a chance to do this in daylight so makes sense to tackle that way first. I don't think I'll try solar with the 500p, one mistake and my head would ignite! Thanks for the info, which astronomy shop do you use? Cheers all! 

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