Sunday, 23 August 2015

Scouting around for good astronomy sites

Hello. I've just moved and I thought I'd do a spot of astro reconnaisance of my new sector. After checking out Google Maps/Earth I headed out from the city and got rather lost trying to find my original target location. I ended up somewhere very rural and dark, but it was such a beautiful warm night - 20ºC at 11pm. I was in a T-shirt setting up my 8 inch SCT and Canon 1000D on top. I had found a lovely dry field with easy access off the road and a very open south, and well, all horizons. There was just a small hedge to the north. I encountered one passer by in the 2 hours I was out there. I managed several 2 minute tracked wide field exposures from atop my telescope. I didn't realise the field was full of hay bales until I took the first exposure! Here's the result - I tried to remove the gradients and enhance the local contrast to bring out the structure in the Milky Way, but there was some ludicrous light-pollution even here (somewhere N of Saxlingham Green, Norfolk). A nice night. Incidentally we had 28ºC, while the rest of the UK had persistent rain and about 19ºC. However, we got rain today - healthy garden I guess.

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