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Where do you go to stargaze?


blinky
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Since I got into this hobby only a short while ago (Less than 2 months I think) I have only observed from my back garden. It's actually not too badly polluted as I am on the very outskirts of Edinburgh, but I am sure I can get darker skies, but where?

I thought I would have a quick poll to get peoples thoughts, as I am a bit nervous about taking everything out to a spot and getting into bother somehow.

Do you go to a secluded car park or a lay by somewhere in the country, maybe a deserted hilltop? Have you ever had any strange/funny/scary experiences i.e. Police turning up and wondering what you were doing!

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I have only heard bad things about astro societies. Dont know about the Edinburgh one, but the website makes all the members a bit 'hoity toitey' :D I dont really know if I want to join, or just pop down to Keilder one or twice a year.

I am really wondering where people go for their nightly observations???

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Hi Blinky,

If you don't want to join the Edinburgh Astro Soc - You would be very welcome to "cross the great divide" and come over to Glasgow to see us. We are a friendly lot and always keen to meet another Astro Nut. I can assure you we are not hoity toity and some of us finish each meeting in the Pub. So ... you would be most welcome (as long as you buy your round :D ).

We meet at Strathclyde Uni at 7.30pm this Thusday (same Thursday each month). You can get a little more detail from the ASG website.

Okay - That is the plug for the ASG over. Seriously though, it is probably worth going along to the Edinburgh lot and seeing how they are - you have nothing to lose, and possibly something to gain.

I can assure you that if your back garden is on the outskirts of Edinburgh - you are in a very light polluted area. I observe 40 miles south of Glasgow and the skies are much darker than the edge of the city. You might want to consider going south of the Pentlands and south of Penicuick. From looking at a light pollution overlay on Google Earth, you need to go at least 10 miles SE of West Linton to get even semi dark skies. Even then, they are pretty carp. About 10 mile south of Dalkieth is your best bet ... to get better you are going all the way to Peebles - and that would be plain silly (or very obsessive).

Tom

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A shed with a roll off roof in the back yard. Loads of light pollution but its quick and easy to pack it in when it starts to rain.

The advantages are:-

mains power

internet

close to the beer fridge

I can leave the 'scope working while I pop inside for a warm, I just lock the door and walk away

Two piers so I can occasionally risk my eyesight by looking at distant suns

She knows where I am

Plod aren't going to bother me, neither are doggers or yobboes

no driving - that interferes with the beer consumption

I have the correct 'scope at hand when a target presents itself

close to the beer fridge

The disadvantages are:-

I need to use LP filters or narrow band filters

its surrounded by my house and other peoples stuff

its not very portable

Captain Chaos

Captain Chaos

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I do all of my observing on my patio..

As for this one..

I thought I would have a quick poll to get peoples thoughts, as I am a bit nervous about taking everything out to a spot and getting into bother somehow.

According to the book "Astronomy Hacks" I'm afraid my gun has ventured from it's case not so long ago...The "Beast Of Cadbury" Was lurking!

Arm yourself

Yes, we know this is controversial, but we consider it good advice, particularly if you observe at remote locations in areas where rabies is endemic or there are poisonous snakes or large predators. Robert generally brings a .44 revolver or a 12-gauge riot shotgun to observing sessions. If you don't own a firearm or if you are uncomfortable bringing it along, a whistle, air-horn, or other loud noisemaker may discourage bears and other four-legged predators.

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Albireo380 thanks for the offer. I think I am a bit too far from Glasgow to travel. I might go along to the Edinburgh AS just to see what it's like. I dont suppose I have to join, afterall :D

As for the Dark sky site. I am only about 20minutes from Peebles (At night time anyway when there is no traffic) I might take the family a 'wee drive' at the weekend to see if I can find anywhere suitable. I suppose a lay by is not the answer as passing cars would just destroy your night vision, never mind everybody slowing down to stare :D

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Blinky, being in Edinburgh ther are lots of sites available to you. Just drive South down the military road and take any one of those small turn offs with weird names on the sign posts. Dont worry about noises, they're usually made by nocturnal animals going about their business. Dont worry about the Police either, a quick look in the eyepiece usually convinces them that you're not up to no good.

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