Thursday, 3 October 2013

Welsh skies

I was expecting good things if clear in Wales, and I was rather disappointed by the Brecon Beacons Dark Sky park. It had a large amount of glow from the South/SouthEast, and this was viewing it from the North of the park in Hay-on-Wye. The skies were very transparent and I could see stuff well overhead but the low light pollution was pretty bad. Also, the campsite owner had put up badly directed high-pressure sodium streetlights all over a beautiful little field. Hay, despite being a small place also had a few overly large lights, which affected the whole valley's look at night. There is of course the problem of clouds in the western part of Britain, let alone rain, so the view from the valleys was mist. However, when I got to the Gower peninsula I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the main Sagittarius asterism and when I got to the cliff top the Milky Way was touching the sea! The coastal light pollution to the left and right was horrendous but all there was to the south were a few distant lights on the coast of North Devon. I got the Canon on a little tripod and snapped a sequence of 30s shots, which I stacked a bunch of. In the picture here, taken after astronomical twilight, I have replaced the horizon and subtracted the large scale background features to bring out the details.

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