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Front Garden / "Public" viewing?


Lazzy
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I'll be purchasing a new scope by the end of November but I will be doing 95% of my bserving either in my front of back garden. My house sits almost perfectly North-South, so the front garden offers the best views to the South - the back garden having a coupleof trees preventing Southern viewing.

Anyhow, do any of your observe in front of your house, where passers by and neighbours could interact with you?

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I try to avoid it, unless I'm shooting single frames of the moon or sun with the SLR... when I will go grab a couple of shots. Don't normally have any interaction with passers by, but last night someone spoke to me about it, and wished me luck. The neighbours are used to odd noises and lights from the garden.

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I often wondered if I should do this - take the scope out into the small garden at the front and see if I can drum up any interest amongst my neighbours. But truth be told, my street is so quiet (which I like!) that I'd still end up out there by myself for hours on end ... might as well stay in the back garden where the wine rack is closer :)

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Agree with Just looking, I have a good view in the back garden N tru E to S and the front garden would be a security problem, would not have to turn my back as the chavs would take all in front of me :). Not to say I may not give it a try late at night, have been looking to see where some of the shot on here have come from and some can only be taken from the front garden ;) .

Jim

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I have to observe in my front garden - some of the garden has high hedges and am planning to get the rest of the front garden fenced off for privacy, as there is also a lane.

I have also modified a large black-out blind to attach to the wall of the house so it affords more privacy and light blocking - as one of my neighbours likes the party hedge to be very low.

I'm not the type to entertain the public when I'm out observing - it's the only time of day I can stand there in peace and luxurious quiet, without having to be something to somebody. This is something I really have to think about when I have the opportunity to observe elsewhere. It's a shame the Skywatcher tubes are white!! :)

Edited by Beulah
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Thanks guys,

I wasn't actually entertaining the idea of encouraging people to join me in my front garden - just trying to get an idea of people experiences if they had moved into a more public area.

My road isn't a main road so the traffic isn't terrible, and I only have two street lights to contend with! I can't see myself in the front garden pre-10.30 - too many kids hanging around and, to be honest, as I'm a newcomer, i just want to learn my trade and enjoy the experience. I'm sure I'll have enough hassle from the missus and my nextdoor neighbour (who applied for an astronomy course when she was younger)!

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I meant to say that I done a "public" viewing last month, not the best of places, a carpark above a beach with a public footpath in between and a pub a few metres away :) . The pub did not gives us a problem but cars entering the car park with lights on did, obviously can't ask them to turn the lights off ;) . We did have quite a number of strollers along the path stopping and showing an interest but did not cause a problem. Other than interest for a few minutes we were able to do what we wnted and were left in peace.

Jim

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I was in Greece recently taking some long exposure shots across the sea to some nearby islands. I was by a very quiet road that ran along the coast. Over the coarse of 1 hour about 8 cars when past and all bar 2 stopped to chat. People were so interested. One guy wanted to meet up the following night so that he could have a try with his own kit. Unfortunately we were moving on. Great fun

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With 40 acres of land to view from, i'm hidden from sight most of the time. But once in a while it's necessary to go to the end of the driveway for a clean horizon, and i've had mixed results with passersby. A number of years ago i was out there imaging a comet and most of the cars drove past, but one Gent was curious enough to stop. He'd never seen a comet before and was thrilled to get a view of it through the 11x70's. :p

During the Venus transit though, someone called the Sheriff on me. :) Apparently the caller thought i had the 90mm ETX out there to spy on the horses across the road, lol. What they didn't know was that my friend (a dispatcher) had introduced me to the Officers. I'd given them a few URLs for quick access when someone reports Venus, Jupiter or the ISS as a UFO. :D Anyway, when the Sgt. pulled up on the side of the road the morning of the transit, he didn't ask "What are you doing, Ma'am".. he said "Hey Carol what's up, can i have a peek?". ;)

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Thanks guys,

I wasn't actually entertaining the idea of encouraging people to join me in my front garden - just trying to get an idea of people experiences if they had moved into a more public area.

My road isn't a main road so the traffic isn't terrible, and I only have two street lights to contend with! I can't see myself in the front garden pre-10.30 - too many kids hanging around and, to be honest, as I'm a newcomer, i just want to learn my trade and enjoy the experience. I'm sure I'll have enough hassle from the missus and my nextdoor neighbour (who applied for an astronomy course when she was younger)!

Until recently all my viewing was from my front garden ... open plan area, so 12" wall which will keep out no one ... and yes there are car head lights. In reality neither has really been a problem. The occasional passer-by asks if I have seen any ufo's, and the occasional group of teenagers who seem to have a genuine interest, but apart from that nothing really. And the car headlights are less disruptive to my photos than the constant streetlights (with which I have learned to live).

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Having moved to a "small community", I find MANY of my... pass-times generate considerable local interest. There's even this nosy guy, from a few doors away, who is wont to appear alone and unannounced in my BACK garden, if he feels he needs a closer look at something. I guess this former (happy!) hermit will eventually adjust... :p

:)

P.S. I even find myself giving impromptu guitar lessons too. Hey ho... ;)

Edited by Macavity
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Until recently all my viewing was from my front garden ... open plan area, so 12" wall which will keep out no one ... and yes there are car head lights. In reality neither has really been a problem. The occasional passer-by asks if I have seen any ufo's, and the occasional group of teenagers who seem to have a genuine interest, but apart from that nothing really. And the car headlights are less disruptive to my photos than the constant streetlights (with which I have learned to live).

Thanks Demonperformer, just the reassurance I was looking for!

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If I lived in a quiet cul de sac where I knew the neighbours then maybe I'd go out front. The back garden is pointless unless your looking directly up and north - too many trees and buildings - so I go to a dark site 15 miles up the road in the middle of nowhere.

I have done public demos however as part of my local astro soc's organised public events. Exhausting but rewarding :)

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The front of my house is facing a road with streetlights so i almost never venture out there. My back garden is much more secluded and is protected on 3 sides from LP.

I observe from there.

Anyone who ventures into my back garden while i am observing is an intruder and will be dealt with in such manner. This means being chased off of my property by a 3 yr old Yorkie whose bite really is worse then her bark.

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Anyone who ventures into my back garden while i am observing is an intruder and will be dealt with in such manner. This means being chased off of my property by a 3 yr old Yorkie whose bite really is worse then her bark.

Love this!

I think I'll have to find a way to "trim" at least one of the trees in my back garden.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ive had a few neighbours and dog walkers come past and have a look when i have had my 12" dob out in the front, as a teacher I enjoy showing off and talking about my hobby. I have had a neighbour with her dog look and yes the dog did **** its leg and pee on the dob base.

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I have occasionally gone out onto my front garden to observe. My front and back gardens or orientated near enough South/North in that order. The only reason I go out there is to view an object which has a low declination which can't be seen from the back due to the house.

I don't prefer it though, too many orange streetlights (2 of them 50 yards either side), passing cars, local yobs and the large dome of LP from Crewe. The back isn't much better though with 3 different garden floodlights that come on at random and quite a restricted view of anything less than around 30 degrees alt.

I really need a car to get myself to a proper dark site deep in the Cheshire/Shropshire countryside.

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I ventured out into my front garden to show jupiter to my dad, it was early so it was some way from rising high enough to observe from the back garden.

Only a few people passed by, and one family stopped as passing to ask what I could see. I let them all have a look at the moon and at Jupiter. They seemed quite amazed with what they could see.

I don't think I'll be repeating it as the street lights are far too bright.

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I probably wouldn't go into my front garden to observe simply because of the area, not that it's that bad but all the morons tend to come out at night y'know. My girlfriends parents actually live across the way, and quite allot of the sky is visible from their back garden. The downfall are all the street lights that surround just about everywhere but it shouldn't be to bad with planetary stuff, might just ask them could I use their garden one day. :o

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Thanks guys.

My back garden is somewhat neglected at the moment, but I ventured down to the very end last night and could see a decent slice of the sky from East through South, from 15" upwards so looks as though that will be my main observation station.

The missus will be pleased - I'll have the lawn mover and trimmer out this weekend to make access a lot easier and safer. The loppers will also be acquainted with one of the two trees whose branches currently overlap my new station.

1 further question, what do people think about keeping their scope in a shed. Mine is at the beforementioned end of the garden, so would be ideal. I guess cool-down time will be minimal? Slightly worried about spiders etc making my scope a home - any one had experiences?

Edited by Lazzy
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I observe this mostly from a front communal garden, car park in the small office block across the road from me or even just set up on the pavement. I've had "I'm thinking of buying a scope can I have a look" , "my ex boyfriend had a scope can I have a look", plus others, all followed by "that's great, just look at the detail, you can see the craters in the moon" etc etc

Just wish they wouldn't ask me questions I can't answer!

Ho hum

Neil

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