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scarp15

Hill Top Camp, 16x70's

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Carter Bar marks a high point on the A68 at the border between Scotland and England. There is little there save for a carpark with a large rock inscribed with Scotland and England on their respective sides and seasonally a piper glad in a kilt, who would as though from nowhere appear and start to play his pipes, just as the next coach load of smart phone clicking tourists transcend onto this view point.

My destination, as I left the 'flesh pot' of this border post was to hike four miles to reach a remote and seldom visited hill that straddles the England, Scotland border. Pitching on the Scottish side, with a welcome light breeze, I awaited anticipating a good night of binocular observing astronomy.

My aim this evening was to explore Aquila and some of the dark nebulae of this region, also to employ using filters to gain the nebulae around Sagittarius. The clear sky forecast was frustrated by wispy, patchy cloud but as darkness was setting in, Jupiter and Saturn both shone brightly. Saturn was a surprise as I was quite certain that I could just make out the rings. I checked the profile on Stellarium to confirm, never before seen or expected to see the rings of Saturn with 15 or 16x 70 binoculars. Sat at ease on a camping stool and with the binoculars mounted onto a monopod, I was able to make out M22, M25 and M11. Further along, the murk was evident due to cloud and nebulae observing in this region unlikely. Cygnus though began to command above and darkness revealed a clear bright milky way through this region. Brocchi's Cluster, an asterism known as the Coathanger was bright and entertaining. Higher up into Cygnus and leaning against the concrete trig point that I was camped next to, I traced the large gaping profile of B144, Fish on the Platter, the dark nebula quite apparent, the fish feature escapes me. Moving downwards to Aquila, I was able to frame B142, B143 known as Barnard's E. This dark nebula was indeed darkly etched and makes for a very fine binocular subject. Drifting across, I picked up the long curvature of B138 that feeds into B137. Other dark nebula forms were sighted in which I need to research as to yet confirming their identity. 

Cloud continued to frustrate and so I swung towards Cassiopeia, locating the dazzling Double Cluster and Stock 2 cluster. From there I drifted across for Kemble's Cascade but was hidden behind cloud. The sky deteriorating, I had to stop at 11pm, Later from my sleeping bag, glancing outwards with my binoculars to look at the lunar crescent. I seemed to spend the rest of the evening, evicting spiders, they were everywhere, of all shapes and sizes, an entomologists idea of heaven perhaps.

Here is a picture for Barnard's E by Jeremy Perez of Belt Of Venus, a comparable view with my own. Below that, I have included a picture of my location.

Thanks for reading.

 

Barnard's E.jpg

P1090468.JPG

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Nice to go a bit wild occasionally and read like a peaceful evening save for the 8 legged intrusions.

Bet they were some really nice views and thanks for a pleasant read about the evening. 

Looks like a fantastic site wish I could get the main scope up there. 

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Cheers, it was a peaceful location, getting a scope up there would have been awesome, it was a considered effort to get the binoculars, monopod etc along and carrying 3 litres of water (although I did find a water course later on for a filtered supply). I had anticipated taking some sky meter readings, not worth it this time, I have more similar planned trips, possibly at least taking a refractor for the winter period. 

Still learning my way through the dark nebulae tables, they are great for binoculars, observing at a dark sky location. Should have included B139 along with B138 in Aquilla, which also connects into B137. 

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What a great spot and report. Great sketch of Barnard's E too.

Thanks for posting.

 

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Great report. I don't know that part of the world so I looked at Google Maps. I smiled at  the view:

image.thumb.png.e145095b3ce23f6e94e19265015670f4.png

 

 

Edited by Paul M
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Yeah Carter Bar, at times can get a bit like that picture Paul. The road itself is not busy and the hills either side are empty, save for an osprey, which the binoculars came in very handy for. No other walkers regardless whether a bank holiday or not. The walking is lovely but not necessarily on established paths and can become a bit rough going. Anyhow here is a picture of the rock, had to be done I suppose, someone kindly took this on my return and here is another of the empty hills. I mentioned in my report that Sagittarius was not very observable on this outing. Tonight made up for this, the nebulae lit up cruising through, this time with a dob and else where, not at Carter Bar.  

 

P1090506.JPG

P1090448.JPG

Edited by scarp15
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Ah!

Found ya! I zoomed in on the plate on the triangulation station photo and looked up the number :)

http://trigpointing.uk/trig/4064

Some short "reviews" from other walkers on that link..

There is no way I'd spend a night there on my own. The awesomeness of the night sky would be drowned out by my wayward imagination! 👻👽🦊🐫🦄

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Spot on, that's some interesting info you have dug up. To the south are The Ranges, the military training ground, that occupy a part of the Northumberland National Park. They do night time exercises and can stray into the Cheviots and places such as I was camped. To the east lies the route of Dere Street, a bridle track that the Romans converted into a military road for their campaigns, between York and the small historic Scottish border Town of Jedburgh. Fortunately I didn't encounter either any Roman ghosts or contemporary military presence. However I was startled wide awake at 5am, by a loud grunting bleat right outside the tent. Happened to be a sheep nonplussed that I had camped on its morning munching patch. The summit offers a fine vantage point in all directions, I had also woke very early to watch the sun rise over the Cheviots.  

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Wow! It looks like a fantastic place to make wide-field observations of the Milky Way and stellar fields, open clusters and dark nebulas ... precisely with an instrument like its 16x70 ...

Thanks for sharing
tico.

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Fabulous report Iain, superb effort getting up there and glad you got some decent skies. I love the tiny tent, must have been very peaceful up there apart from the nosey sheep of course ;)

I've never dabbled in dark nebulae, will have to give them a go some time.

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