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A brief hiatus and one more shot until summer...


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Hi all,

I've realised I disappeared off the pages here for a couple of months - everything is going reasonably well at home, a few wobbles though. I struggled with good weather, lockdown and a string of unexpected van and car repairs in my attempts to get out with the big dobsonian to my dark sky spots, then worked fortunately picked up, so I've not been able to devote much time to astronomy.

I am hoping to slip away Saturday night for a late night observing session before we lose astro darkness for the summer.

I'm lucky enough to be working in the Western Isles in some relatively remote places since February now, so I took my 15x70 Apollos and filters, but the weather hasn't been playing along much.

However, when conditions are right, it's dark-sky heaven there,  literally out the back door of my accommodation, on the Light Pollution Map, the SQM reading is an unequivocal 22.00! I had one night very late I popped my head out and it was clear and as amazing as you'd expect.

I was offered a job there with a local contractor, but don't think the wife is keen on remote Hebridean living... I was very tempted though! My brush with dark-sky heaven ;) 

Hope everyone is well and I also hope to post another observing report this weekend if things work out.

Cheers all!

Edited by Ships and Stars
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Glad you're OK.

With my old job, I've had my fair share of time out there. Harris, Lewis, Uist, Rum. But this was before my time even with binoculars. I do remember the skies though, when they were clear (which wasn't too often).

 

 

Edited by Pixies
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Pixies said:

Glad you're OK.

With my old job, I've had my fair share of time out there. Harris, Lewis, Uist, Rum. But this was before my time even with binoculars. I do remember the skies though, when they were clear (which wasn't too often).

 

 

Excellent, I've not been to Rum or the Inner Hebrides, but sailed past them several times. I'm on South Uist again soon, we've had 60+mph gusts, sleet, you name it, but only one night with clear skies, and I was doing 12hr days... Still wonderful to scan the sky there, I love the Western Isles. Hopefully I'll have another go with the big dob this weekend, but have to replace van radiator tomorrow and bleed cooling system and refill gearbox, the cooler went two weeks ago and pumped all the ATF out in about 15 seconds! I'm looking at selling both my old van and car and buying a newish Grand Vitara or RAV4. Need 4wd, but also something big enough to hold the 500p without having to shoehorn it in the boot!

Such is life...

Hope everyone is happy and healthy.

Edited by Ships and Stars
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19 minutes ago, jetstream said:

@Ships and StarsWhich HCG's?

Congrats!

Sorry, wrote a longer reply but mobile data keeps dropping here! HCG 44 I've seen, but great views tonight. Nipped over to M51 and 101, just amazing. I'll do a quick report asap, some of the HCGs were just extended smudges, but several were really good 👍

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If you're on Uist then some friends up the north end of things have good internet - up on Berneray. BT did FTTC to the islands as part of their government-funded builds (though failed to actually connect it up till a few competitors started pointing out they hadn't actually delivered anything to people), but there's also a lot of fixed wireless stuff back to the mainland which is pretty quick!

http://sealview.com/gettinghere.html

Last time I was up there I wasn't really doing astro stuff, but knowing how populous it is (my friend had to go to Lewis to do their driving test because it's the only island with a roundabout) I can believe it's superb! Enjoy while you're there!

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7 hours ago, discardedastro said:

If you're on Uist then some friends up the north end of things have good internet - up on Berneray. BT did FTTC to the islands as part of their government-funded builds (though failed to actually connect it up till a few competitors started pointing out they hadn't actually delivered anything to people), but there's also a lot of fixed wireless stuff back to the mainland which is pretty quick!

http://sealview.com/gettinghere.html

Last time I was up there I wasn't really doing astro stuff, but knowing how populous it is (my friend had to go to Lewis to do their driving test because it's the only island with a roundabout) I can believe it's superb! Enjoy while you're there!

Just returned home! I made it back to the mainland for a long weekend, much needed break. A lot of driving through. Yesterday I was puttering around, checking the weather, thought I'd missed the clear spell in the eastern Cairngorms, but a lucky break, forecast was quite different. Was supposed to cloud over but remained clear with the odd cumulous drifting past as a dark patch. 

There are many 'passing places' in the Uists, but now you mention it, roundabouts are a rare creature! Brake pads are a definite wear item there, especially when a lorry comes steaming around the corner. 

A wonderful place, if a bit quiet for most people's taste. Suits me though. I'll take the 15x70s back again and see what I can spot. 

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4 minutes ago, Ships and Stars said:

Just returned home from last night! I made it back to the mainland for a long weekend, much needed break. A lot of driving through. Yesterday I was puttering around, checking the weather, thought I'd missed the clear spell in the eastern Cairngorms, but a lucky break, forecast was quite different. Was supposed to cloud over but remained clear with the odd cumulous drifting past as a dark patch. 

There are many 'passing places' in the Uists, but now you mention it, roundabouts are a rare creature! Brake pads are a definite wear item there, especially when a lorry comes steaming around the corner. 

A wonderful place, if a bit quiet for most people's taste. Suits me though. I'll take the 15x70s back again and see what I can spot. 

 

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