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Open Club  ·  18 members

West Midlands
bsf

Any dark observing sites in the area?

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Hi Everyone.

Could anyone recommend any dark observing sites near Wolverhampton, Walsall or the west midlands area? 

Jupiter and Saturn are good in my telescope but there is light pollution and are partly blocked on the horizon. It would be great to pack the scope and drive for 20 mins to a dark site.

Thanks

bsf

 

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Morning All, 

I've been looking at locations where I could do some imaging outdoors as long it is safe and relatively dark, unfortunately I don't have the luxury of backyard or Garden.

In addition to gostargazing.co.uk, I came across this site www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk, I've even reached out to https://www.hanwellobservatory.org.uk/ near Banbury to see if their grounds were open to armature astronomers (no response as yet).

Been to Chesteron Mill (CV33 9LB) recent weeks (3 nights) to look at Comet Neowise, classed as Bortle 4 by Clear Outside app.

Night 1 - I just went to scout and and was amazed that I could see Neowise,

Night 2 - completely dark and loads of stars was surprised. 

Night 3- did some imaging (but was full Moon), with DSLR and flimsy tripod.

Pros

  • It does get relatively very dark, I could see milky way lanes (faint) with naked eye.
  • Was quite and a few people imaging, either landscape photography or astro
  • Public access
  • Saw a group doing a night sky tour (I think), they were all huddled in chairs (social distancing of course) while someone was pointing at sky and giving a talk, could be a cult..who knows
  • Limited parking

Cons

  • Bit of a walk up to the mill, so if you are strong then you can haul up your kit. Trolley might work but its grass so be warned, I'm trying to get a portable kit....still in the works.
  • Glow from Warwick but it could also be due to summer and it took about 1 am to get completely dark
  • The wind mill is an obstruction but you can pick a spot around it and stay there for the night.
  • limited parking next to the gate/entrance, I would say roughly 15 cars seen parked (this was at the height of Neowise frenzy)

I suggest go during the day and scout the area then decide. If I do hear from Hanwell Observatory I'll let you folks know...would prefer a location that provide access to mains (happy to pay a fee for elec)

I'm still mulling over the kit I need,  need to decided on Mount (needs to be go to) and Power supply.

I wanted to attach an image I took on Night 3 but can't seem to upload a file, will try again.

 

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On 03/08/2020 at 00:28, bsf said:

Hi Everyone.

Could anyone recommend any dark observing sites near Wolverhampton, Walsall or the west midlands area? 

Jupiter and Saturn are good in my telescope but there is light pollution and are partly blocked on the horizon. It would be great to pack the scope and drive for 20 mins to a dark site.

Thanks

bsf

 

If you go west of Wolverhampton - eg: past Shipley, there are a number of villages most will have recreation grounds which can give good horizons...

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