Jump to content

 

1825338873_SNRPN2021banner.jpg.68bf12c7791f26559c66cf7bce79fe3d.jpg

 

Observing - safety


Claire
 Share

Recommended Posts

I feel really 'stuck' about being able to get out and properly observe.

I don't have any friends or family interested in stargazing, and the are round me i have a lot of bright street lights and houses around me so i can't see an awful lot of stars apart from the brightest ones.

Problem is, for me to go somewhere dark enough and clear enough, then it's might not exactly be the safest place to go on my own.

I'm a bit stuck, I guess I could go to a beach somewhere, but still, I'd be on my own when it's dark in a place I don't know.

Not quite sure how I get round it tbh apart from finding someone to come with me, but then clear skies are pretty rare for decent viewing too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 27
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I know what you mean Claire, its hard. In my younger days I spent quite a lot of time working away during the week (auditing different public bodies across Wales). Some of the locations were great - eg Mid Wales - with access to much darker skies than at home. I always kept my binos in the boot of the car and often went off on my own to relax after a hard day. The thought that kept going through my mind was how they would do the reconstruction on Crimewatch if something happened to me!!!! That did temper some of more outlandish ideas (I didn't want to be considered too stupid!). I did always stay close to the car, and disappeared back into it, locked the doors and got ready to start the engine if necessary if I heard cars/people approaching. Its a bit safer now with mobile phones though.

I suppose your options are to find a society, or other members on here.

Good luck!

Helen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there a local astro society? They may organise get togethers, or at least you'll be ablet t meet interested others who may be able to buddy up at short notice. I think there are a few people on here near you too, perhaps forming a group may help?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I did go along to the Preston society, but they seem to have mainly talks and not so much observing (i've been to two and they were good for knowledge, although my son fell asleep both times during them hehe), but there doesn't seem much chance to actually get out and look upwards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have a garden (outside area) of ANY sort, with exclusive use? Frustrating it is, but you might be surprised what can be seen "underneath" light pollution. It may be, the only solution is observing-companions. But you can at least "practice", closer to home? As a onetime flat-dweller, I eventually gave up the unequal struggle... and moved! Though previously I did try packing my stuff into various "shopping trolleys", using a (slightly bemused) local taxi service etc. Such determination! :hello2:

But I never felt completely comfortable "out in the wilds". It's one thing to be walking around in the dark. Quite another, hovering over (relatively!) expensive astro stuff... :hello2:

Edited by Macavity
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep an eye out for other SGL members in your area, then organise a get together. I did this and was surprised at how many members there were in my local area. One of my new mates (pss53) lives a mile away! I would not be observing socially if it weren't for this great forum :hello2:

Failing that, if you are ever in the Leeds area you are very welcome to come out with us, no problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Claire I understand your disappointment regarding your local astro club in not 'getting out', sadly there are too many clubs like that.

Have you thought about looking on google earth to see if you can find a suitable observing spot on a bit of farmland. I've done just that and after contacting the farmer, he was more than happy for me to use it. Out of politeness and courtesy I insisting on letting him know when I would be there and for how long as part of the deal. Obviously you'll need to give a sitet he once over on an evening to check for sources of light pollution etc and I'm sure that someone as keen as you are to get started would make it difficult for any landowner to say no. One important consideration is that you can drive onto the land. This will help you unpack the gear without having to lug it about and this will also help keep your car out of site so as not to attract any attention of any passersby (hence telephoning the farmer beforehand) so that you can have a peaceful nights viewing- bliss! This might sound like a bit of an effort but if you can manage it, it makes all the difference and you never know, you might be able to attract fellow observers to join you.

It might cost you a bottle of whiskey at Christmas but that's small change for all the great nights of observing!

Clear skies

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Claire,

have you asked any of the members of the Preston Club if they would go out with you on a nights observing? They may even have a good spot in their garden where they live. Also, try asking someone near by in the countryside who own stables or a farm? Many farmers are willing to let you use the corner of a farm yard or field close to the farm and they are usually secure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Claire, I can't help, but just to let you know I sympathise, being in the same situation. Lone female, city dweller, in my case flat-dweller and no car. I'm just planning for my retirement (2 years away) when I'll be moving to a better location.

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is posts like this one that make me feel very lucky to be living in the county side with little to no light pollution and a garden that lends me good views. I not sure I could ever live in a city.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Claire.

Following on from the group observing sessions mentioned by others.

Take a look at East Midlands Stargazers for an idea.

A group of astronomers have got together and negotiated use of two dark sites. I have been to one site in Derbyshire. It is a cricket club in a dark place.

The cricket club have little use for their premises when it is dark. The group has a dark sky available, away from the chavs. The clubhouse offers warmth, tea, toilet, electricity and lecture/presentation space as required. The group meets usually at short notice by email when the weather looks good. This seems to work out well.

Another possibility is to contact a flying or gliding club, if there is one in your area. These are by definition away from built up areas and have open views. Usually there is some sort of a clubhouse and they are often unused after sunset.

In all 'clubs' a few quid per year from responsible people occupying the facilities when they are otherwise unused has to be a good thing.

David.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Claire

I often go to the Brecon Beacons alone. Ok I'm a 6'1" big big bloke, ex army and still feel I can look after myself. (who am I kidding):hello2:

But when I'm out there alone I feel extremely vulnerable. It's absolutely pit black and all sorts of things go through my mind. It's a sad society we live in today and we must be very careful.

Most nights other stargazers turn up, but until they make themselves known my baseball bat is at the ready.

My wife insists that when I'm out alone I text her a "I'm Ok" every half hour. If she don't get one then Cobra is convened.:hello2:

A freind of mine has now taken up the hobby so at least I'll have company now (and share fuel costs):hello2:

In all seriousness, take care, I hope you can find someone who you'll be safe with to enjoy your hobby.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its tough isnt it, I am lucky as a friend from work in interested in it and I can only hope her interest remains. I am doing a course at my local Observatory and have met a few people at this that I can meet up with and people from EMS who I have started going to meets with but it is tough I know.

Wondering how far away from me you are and in November when I get my scope we could arrange to meet half way - I know NOvember is a while away but if by then you still haven't been able to hook up with people I would be quite happy to drive out and meet you somewhere half way for a clear evening of stargazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Claire

Being a "neighbour" I feel your pain.

For a relative noob I would definitely recommend being part of a group or society. how abut going to the todmorden astronomy centre - open each Saturday night and always lots of interested people about.

You can't beat going to star parties either - kielder is my regular one - it keeps the interests up.

Check out some of your others neighbours on here - perhaps we should start a little observing group.

Regards

Rob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone. I don't even have the worry of equipment safety to think about - I don't own a telescope or anything yet!

I do have a back garden, and it's not too bad for observing when it's clear, but I only really get to see upwards, as I have houses around me. I'm in the PR2 area so there is a lot of houses near me, but, there are a couple of parks close by that I could venture into, but still I don't feel safe on my own (I'm 27) and for my partner to come with me, I'd need to get a babysitter! Hard to plan when you don't know what the weather is going to be like.

MrsR thanks so much for the offer. That's really kind. I'm a fair way from Notts, but not out of the realm of being able to drive there. I'm up near Manchester.

That's a great idea about farm land/ stables and same for gliding clubs etc. I've never thought about it, but I still would be on my own I guess.

Rob, I think I've been told about todmorden before.. I'm sure I've seen the website for there. What's a star party?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Star party or star camp - such as http://www.richarddarn.demon.co.uk/starcamp/ or the SGL connected ones (search for threads about sgl6 on here).

It's a camping weekend especially for astronomy. Usually somewhere dark and away from light pollution. Great for meeting new people and also ace for seeing and getting to look through kit before you jump in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me and my wife, and Blackpool & District Astronomy Society use Lane Ends in Pilling. Maybe you can go along when there is someone from there also viewing?

BADAS can be found here

Blackpool & District Astronomical Society - Home

Or if you have a chat with my wife

Stargazers Lounge - View Profile: ruiyyanko

Maybe you could work something out.

Edited by pook
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd look out for a friendly farmer. Make contact, offer a look through your kit, mention your concerns. People understqnd these things. Also, in reality, outside a pub in a city is probably far more dangerous than the middle of nowhere but I don't want to trivialize your concerns because they are easily to see.

After many years out at night in the dark I now feel totally at home but I know that our ferocious dog, Cachou, would be ready to roll over and show her tummy to any foolhardy villains...

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its a challenge getting the balance right for an Astro Soc, Aberdeen AS meets once a month for public observing and has talks with visits to our Dark Sky Site whenever its a new moon. But we are lucky - so long as the weather lets us :-) But I do wonder if people are put off the interest when they can't get access to safe friendly sites?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel really 'stuck' about being able to get out and properly observe.

I don't have any friends or family interested in stargazing, and the are round me i have a lot of bright street lights and houses around me so i can't see an awful lot of stars apart from the brightest ones.

Problem is, for me to go somewhere dark enough and clear enough, then it's might not exactly be the safest place to go on my own.

I'm a bit stuck, I guess I could go to a beach somewhere, but still, I'd be on my own when it's dark in a place I don't know.

Not quite sure how I get round it tbh apart from finding someone to come with me, but then clear skies are pretty rare for decent viewing too

Always free to pop down the M6 to Jnc 17 Sandbach if you want and take a peek through my scopes and bring your bino's

I warn you though, it is addictive and may hurt your wallet / purse afterwards :hello2:

Sure the wife wouldn't mind some company as well.

/Cat tried to word that correctly without sounding weird.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think farms (gated fields) sound good. Distance and MUD may deter the casual / opportunistic mugger - But can transform a five minute daylight stroll into a half hour night mud-slide, when loaded with kit. I found a NICE cosy corner in a church graveyard once - Even some... hard-standing for my GoTo! But, had a bony finger tapped me on the shoulder, I might just have entered orbit? :hello2:

Edited by Macavity
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have been looking at several site both near and far, before i got my scope i ended up on a car park on the FELL Road (Alt 300m approx) just north of waddington heading towards the trough of bowland the sky was not too bad for pollution and you are on the top of a rise so its pretty flat viewing all round

I am thinking of taking the scope up there but the wife is not too keen on going and to be honest being in the middle of nowhere on a unlit country road maybe is not the best idea even for a 6ft bloke with little or no fear of the country locals ( no offence intended :D )

If there is any way other could make it sometime safety in numbers then maybe it could be a regular thing god knows i need the practice at setting up the scope and getting everything working right....

post-25369-13387755519_thumb.jpg

post-25369-133877555217_thumb.jpg

Edited by jasperuk
Link to comment
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
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.