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cotterless45

Night's watch on the Wall !

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SQM 21.3 at 6.30 am ! A week long break just south of the Wall ( Hadrian's). Right stormy , right dark and at times very wet. Looking out of the window at 6am , lots of stars , but I couldn't tie them to constellations . I realised that I was looking at the Hyades pointing to a packed Taurus.

Went out and just stunned. Auriga , just unrecognisable , Capella hardly looked the bright beacon at home. It looked slightly brighter than the other stars with a web of stars to the "kids". Signs of the Messier clusters here .

Perseus ,  a glowing band overhead with an obvious double cluster . The Milky Way brushed Auriga ,Gemini through to the great kite of Cassiopeia. Incredible amount of stars , walking around the house each view was spectacular. Going to return in calmer weather to this beautiful part of the country.

Hoping for clear skies ! Nick.

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Sounds just grand Nick.
A properly dark sky and the old eyeballs make for a big smile.
 

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I am going have to visit there then sounds like a great place to camp and do some Astronomy.

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7 minutes ago, wookie1965 said:

I am going have to visit there then sounds like a great place to camp and do some Astronomy.

This is a really good site and the skies are A1...……..when it's not raining. 

http://www.stonehaughcampsite.com/

Take lots of midge repellent after late May though.

K

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Does the Stonehough campsite have lights dotted around, like nearly all campsites? I've recently taken to asking campsite owners if they can turn lights off for me. Surprisingly often, I get a positive result.

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2 hours ago, KevS said:

This is a really good site and the skies are A1...……..when it's not raining. 

http://www.stonehaughcampsite.com/

Take lots of midge repellent after late May though.

K

I have looked at that but as I would go March or October making use of the darker nights 6 amp EHU is not enough I need to run a heater for the tent and then he mount it would be tripping.

I was looking at this one https://www.hadrianswallcampsite.co.uk/Home/TheCampsite

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3 hours ago, DeepSkyBagger said:

Does the Stonehough campsite have lights dotted around, like nearly all campsites? I've recently taken to asking campsite owners if they can turn lights off for me. Surprisingly often, I get a positive result.

If my memory serves me correctly there was a down facing light on the outside of the "facilities", but that was it. Think the locals pride themselves in the fact that they are a dark sky village, so to speak. Lots of nooks and crannies around the site itself so you can hide from fully illuminated campers. Village hall down the road has a community bar that operates on the weekends if the skies are clagged out as well.

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3 hours ago, wookie1965 said:

I have looked at that but as I would go March or October making use of the darker nights 6 amp EHU is not enough I need to run a heater for the tent and then he mount it would be tripping.

Have not used that one so can't comment.  Normally once I am over or that near to the Scottish border I am on my cycle and wild camping, dropping into campsites every couple of days for R & R. Do you think there is scope on SGL  for astro friendly campsite recommendations?

K

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3 minutes ago, KevS said:

Have not used that one so can't comment.  Normally once I am over or that near to the Scottish border I am on my cycle and wild camping, dropping into campsites every couple of days for R & R. Do you think there is scope on SGL  for astro friendly campsite recommendations?

K

If you are riding your bike I would go for a good pair of binoculars easier to carry. Otherwise you will need a small set up I small refractor with a easy to carry mount and a couple of eyepieces.

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Sounds great Nick, trying to guess where approximately you were just south of the Wall, near to Greenhead perhaps?

I haven't stayed at that campsite at Stonehaugh or the other one mentioned, dark sky tourism is definitely part of the appeal, together with through cyclists as there are several on and off road long distance trails. The campsites will be sensitive to the dark sky park status and place value on expectations in sensitive lighting. There are periodic meetings I believe held at Stonehaugh for stargazing, had considered it myself, will be a good place. I will check with my daughter as she has done the D of E and may have stayed there. These places are definitely worth while investigating further, as mentioned by Kev, SGL astro friendly campsites.

Wild camping in the Scottish border- yep that's good. 

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2 minutes ago, wookie1965 said:

If you are riding your bike I would go for a good pair of binoculars easier to carry. Otherwise you will need a small set up I small refractor with a easy to carry mount and a couple of eyepieces.

Tend to carry my 8 x 30's on the bike, but mostly for twitching, tend not to do much astro that far North in the summer. The occasional squint at the night sky is of course allowed; that is if it gets dark enough.

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1 minute ago, KevS said:

Tend to carry my 8 x 30's on the bike, but mostly for twitching, tend not to do much astro that far North in the summer. The occasional squint at the night sky is of course allowed; that is if it gets dark enough.

I have 10 x 42`s and they are brilliant easy see Orion`s nebula plus the trapezium, double cluster all Auriga`s clusters so in a dark site see so much more  May even be able take a lightweight tripod.

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11 hours ago, cotterless45 said:

 right dark  Looking out of the window at 6am , lots of stars , but I couldn't tie them to constellations . I realised that I was looking at the Hyades pointing to a packed Taurus.

The Milky Way brushed Auriga ,Gemini through to the great kite of Cassiopeia. Incredible amount of stars , walking around the house each view was spectacular. Going to return in calmer weather to this beautiful part of the country.

Hoping for clear skies ! Nick.

 

 

Hi Nick , sounds great. I absolutely love it when you look up into the night sky and there is so many stars in the sky ,that you have difficulties making out constellations. When you get views like that you know you are in proper dark site area. Its like a sprinkling of diamonds in the sky . And makes this hobby so enjoyable. Once the scope comes out in these sort of dark site condition then the usually faint fuzzies in light polluted areas just change completely under dark site conditions, and DSO fuzzies start to pop to the eyes. Just great , enjoy 👍

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, KevS said:

 Do you think there is scope on SGL  for astro friendly campsite recommendations?

K

I think that's a really good idea. Maybe a sticky thread that can be added to over the years. The need for astro-friendly sites is ever more necessary.

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Nice read Nick. Like the piccy you passed onto Estwing hope that can hasn't run out yet 😉

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