Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

HutchStar

Where do you take your telescope?

Recommended Posts

I'm new to Stargazing and I've recently ordered an 8 inch Dob. I did a fair bit of research and it seemed to be the best fit for me in terms of affordability and practicality.

So now I'm trying to plan what to do with my scope when it arrives. I think most of the time I'll use it in my Garden. I live in a medium sized town near the cotswolds, Bortle 5 so I think it's ok for stargazing. My main issue is obstruction in my garden from trees. On the one hand it blocks a lot of light pollution which is great but it only leaves me with a (relatively) small portion of sky to view.

I was wondering where people in a similar boat take their scopes? I live a 5 minute drive from some really quiet rural areas so I was thinking I'd probably be ok to set up in some fields with public right of way? Would be interested to know what you all think and what kind of places you look for to stargaze.

 

Thanks very much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I use the light pollution map to scan for places with dark skies. In checking this I'll also look for places where there aren't towns in particular directions, so if I was wanting to look at clusters in Cassiopeia or the Andromeda galaxy I'd want to avoid a location with a town to the East.

Then, I'd use Google Street View to go along the back roads to see if there are any lay-bys or field openings that look as though they would be suitable places that you can get properly off the road and have space to set up the scope. 

Street View will also show you whether there are trees and nearby houses, both to be avoided - or at least be aware of.

https://www.lightpollutionmap.info

 

Edited by Gfamily
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgot to say, if you use the excellent GoStargazing website, it has a map of suggested star gazing locations that might be of use.

https://gostargazing.co.uk/

Also, you may have a local Astronomy Society and they may be able to help with suggestions, though under the current conditions they probably won't be having organised outings to viewing sites.

http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/Default.aspx?CountyId=35

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On top of the mountain overlooking the valley where we currently live.

.

PICT0061 (Medium).JPG

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, L8-Nite said:

On top of the mountain overlooking the valley where we currently live.

.

PICT0061 (Medium).JPG

I'd say that's Wales rather than California! :)

Cynon valley? 

Edited by Gfamily

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

99% of my observing is from my back garden which is fortunately just a few paces from where my scopes are stored.

My skies are Bortle 5 as well and there are plenty of obstructions and some light pollution issues here but the sheer convenience means that I can observe as often as the skies are clear and at really short notice.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mostly from home/surrounding area (Bortel 5). But have taken the ED several times to north Cornwall  (Bortel 2) - amazing!. Also to the new forest (Bortel 3/4), but not for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HutchStar said:

I'm new to Stargazing and I've recently ordered an 8 inch Dob. I did a fair bit of research and it seemed to be the best fit for me in terms of affordability and practicality.

So now I'm trying to plan what to do with my scope when it arrives. I think most of the time I'll use it in my Garden. I live in a medium sized town near the cotswolds, Bortle 5 so I think it's ok for stargazing. My main issue is obstruction in my garden from trees. On the one hand it blocks a lot of light pollution which is great but it only leaves me with a (relatively) small portion of sky to view.

I was wondering where people in a similar boat take their scopes? I live a 5 minute drive from some really quiet rural areas so I was thinking I'd probably be ok to set up in some fields with public right of way? Would be interested to know what you all think and what kind of places you look for to stargaze.

 

Thanks very much!

If you feel confident setting up somewhere rural with public access, then go for it. The lower local light polution and fewer obstacles makes a huge difference. You could seek permission from a farmer to use a particular spot. It's worth a punt.

Hopefully next year dedicated astro camps will start up again. There's usually several per year dotted around the country.

I make do with a dark corner in my light polluted urban garden. Although a 102mm Maksutov and 10x50 binoculars go car camping with me.

The closest Bortle 4 skies are approx 1 hr 20min drive - The Peaks, North Wales, North Lancs. Bortle 3 - 1hr 50min or so on the northern fringes of Snowdonia or spots in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My garden is Bortel 4 so most of my observing is done from the bottom of the garden. My Astro Society has two locations both giving me a better view looking North. Distance is only 10/15 minutes away and I usually just take a 6" Newt rather than the 12" Dob at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Hutch and a warm welcome to SGL.  I am not so far away from the Cotswolds here in Swindon.  You have a club in your area found here: https://cotswoldas.org.uk/

At our club in Swindon for observing sites we use anything from a lay-by to a nature reserve (never go out alone BTW!), here is a list of our main sites with photos to give you ideas, however, the best thing you could do is to join a local club:

http://www.swindonstargazers.com/noticeboard/noticeboard04.htm

Also, note that new telescopes come packed with clouds, so open the box carefully!

Good luck and clear skies!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi

Your scope sounds great even though you only have a small portion of the sky to view from your garden, as someone said on here any astronomy is better than no astronomy. I live in a 1st floor flat so very very hard to lugg my scope and mounts down the flights of stairs, so I generally starfagaze ftom my bedroom window that faces east to south bortle 3 skies in North Cornwall. I'd love a garden to set my scopes up in but just not practical. Plus I don't drive so ko option to go anywhere. Enjoy your new found hobby, ii really is the best hobby to have that offers an infinite amount to view and wonderous sights. Clear skies 

Edited by LeeHore7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Gfamily said:

I'd say that's Wales rather than California! :)

Cynon valley? 

Rhondda Valley.  :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to do most of my observing from home on the outskirts of light polluted Poole.

However as I mostly use refractors that are fairly easy to transport I'm able to take them to dark sky sites within a 30 min drive from home.

But like @rwilkey says it's best to go out with others so attending a local group will introduce you to fellow astronomers that would give you someone to observe with.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have grown trees in my backyard limiting my view nowadays.  As a result, I plan my observing around what is visible to the south in the clear patches.  As the night moves on, I observe new targets that come into view.  For instance, to observe Jupiter and Saturn recently, I had to observe between 11pm and 1am.  First was Jupiter until Saturn cleared the trees and then Jupiter went behind a house after a bit.  I really miss my northerly views the most.  I'm looking at getting a second home for getaways and retirement that will have darker skies and better sight lines.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Louis D said:

I also have grown trees in my backyard limiting my view nowadays.  As a result, I plan my observing around what is visible to the south in the clear patches.  As the night moves on, I observe new targets that come into view.  For instance, to observe Jupiter and Saturn recently, I had to observe between 11pm and 1am.  First was Jupiter until Saturn cleared the trees and then Jupiter went behind a house after a bit.  I really miss my northerly views the most.  I'm looking at getting a second home for getaways and retirement that will have darker skies and better sight lines.

My garden is south facing but I can only see a tiny slither of the southern sky due to trees so I'd either have to wait until Jupiter/Saturn appeared there or go somewhere else to get a look at the planets. I get a decent view east and west though, and can see things higher up to the north so it's not all bad.

 

Thanks for all the input everyone, very much appreciated. Good point about not stargazing alone too, I'll look into clubs when my scope arrives.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, HutchStar said:

My garden is south facing but I can only see a tiny slither of the southern sky due to trees so I'd either have to wait until Jupiter/Saturn appeared there or go somewhere else to get a look at the planets. I get a decent view east and west though, and can see things higher up to the north so it's not all bad.

 

Thanks for all the input everyone, very much appreciated. Good point about not stargazing alone too, I'll look into clubs when my scope arrives.

I also have a 8 inch skywatcher dob, and the view from my garden sounds similar to yours. I live in a bortle 4/5 zone, have a south facing garden, but the view in this direction is blocked by our neighbours house. I have unobstructed views to the east and west, and my own house blocks the view to the north.

I have done 90% of my observing from my garden, and have seen plenty of dso. However, to see saturn and jupiter I have had to take my scope up to the inlaws house up the road, which is much less light polluted, and has unobstructed views in all directions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, L8-Nite said:

Rhondda Valley.  :smile:

That was my first thought, but I couldn't quite place it.

My home town. Moved away to uni in the late 70s.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @HutchStar and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

I do most of my observing from the communal garden or parking area of my home. If I do go away for a weekend break to visit my father and step-mother or elsewhere, I will pack my ETX105 or TeleVue Ranger and a few e/p's plus one of three alt-az mount's and tripod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Gfamily said:

That was my first thought, but I couldn't quite place it.

My home town. Moved away to uni in the late 70s.

Mine too. My parents moved away back in the 1950's when I was a child, but I came back, liked it here, and bought a home to retire to. :smile:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.