Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

A place to discuss the dreaded orange glow

Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

Postby bob_ames » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:20 pm

With the Milky Way high overhead in the summer, now is the time to see it directly for myself, except that I have only ever observed under mag 3 skies and therefore have never seen it without optical aid.

According to my Dark Skies Map, the nearest mag 5-6 skies are 200-km away (in the Yorkshire Dales). But there is a problem: my mobility has been limited by a long-term illness for several years, and the past two years have been particularly bad. Seeing the Milky Way has now become a "bucket list" item. [8|]

I am determined to see it this year; I will periodically update this thread with my progress, for anyone interested. [:)]
bob_ames
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm

RE: Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

Postby fritsey » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:20 pm

Good for you, Bob. Think positive and you will achieve all you mean to

Look forward to the updates.

Fritsey
fritsey
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:11 pm

RE: Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

Postby bob_ames » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:13 pm

[quote]ORIGINAL: Fritsey
Good for you, Bob. Think positive and you will achieve all you mean to

Look forward to the updates. [/quote]

Thanks much for your support! [:)]
bob_ames
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm

RE: Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

Postby bob_ames » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:30 pm


[u]General outline[/u]

Location: Yorkshire Dales (will use Google Maps street-view to select an observing location).

Transport: If I were 100% healthy, I would take the train (I could be in Kendal within 1 hour for £15!), bus, and cycle around the Dales. Given my poor health, a car is the only viable option. I have a driving licence but not driven for 18 years. More on this later.

Date: Has to be near/on new Moon (end of month/beginning of month). Also has to be warm due to my extreme sensitivity to cold, and enough darkness to have a long observing session. I'm currently thinking of end of August/early September timeframe.

Equipment: Will not take telescope along (this is about unaided-eye observing) but will bring binoculars to sweep the Milky Way. Video/stills camera is needed for documenting the adventure.

To-do list:
- Plan driving route
- Eye test (not had one for 10 years - silly me!)
- Update driving licence (existing one has old address on it)
- Sort out Will (just in case! [:D])
- Organise car
- Buy new camera (existing digital camera is 12 years old!)
bob_ames
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm

RE: Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

Postby bob_ames » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:20 pm

My mother visited from Ireland earlier today. After describing my plan, she suggested that I wait until I am healthy again. I replied that I don't know when that will be, and next year I might be even worse - better to go while I still can. And if my health improves next year, wouldn't that be grand?! She also suggested taking a driving lesson or two (good idea - I had not considered that).

I've just completed the DVLA's online form for updating my licence, thus officially beginning the countdown to Bob's grand day/night out! [:D]
bob_ames
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm

RE: Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

Postby bob_ames » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:06 pm

Have just returned from an eye test - first one since 2001.

The good news: my prescription has only slightly changed over the last 10 years

The bad news: £225 for new lenses (yikes! - my original glasses were £179 for both frame and lenses, and included free sunglasses!)

And now that Boots have taken over D&A, they no longer grind lenses in-store, so I have to wait two weeks. Meanwhile, I'll have to use my old sunglasses pair, which makes me feel/look like a loon wearing sunglasses whilst using my computer! [:D]
bob_ames
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm

RE: Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

Postby bob_ames » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:26 pm

Have recently been researching digital cameras (for video blogging and photos of the outing) and I have to say I'm rather disappointed to see many cameras make use of proprietary lithium batteries and proprietary AC adaptors. My old digital camera (Fuji DX-8, circa 1998) has a DC input socket, something that is lacking on most cameras today. And those few cameras that do have a DC input socket require the use of a proprietary AC adaptor, which in turn would require a DC-AC invertor to use in-car. [:@]

I really like the Panasonic Lumix ZX3 (£139), which has Starry Sky Mode, but I'd have to spend an extra £55 to buy the AC adaptor, DC coupler, and DC-AC invertor. For £55, I could buy an entire camera (Fuji AV100, which uses standard AA batteries). In fact, I may just go with the Fuji; the reviews do seem favourable and it can record 720p video...
bob_ames
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm

RE: Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

Postby bob_ames » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:16 pm

Finally, a trio of sunny days has appeared for the first time during the past two months that I have been checking the weather forecast. It helps that record-high temperatures are expected for Wed-to-Sat. If this forecast holds, I should be good to go next week. :o)
bob_ames
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm

RE: Bob's big adventure to find dark skies

Postby bob_ames » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:23 am

Mission accomplished! This is where I spent the night to see the Milky Way (I left Thursday morning and returned Friday night/Saturday morning). I returned the car on Saturday - 302 miles and no dents or scratches! :o)

I was surprised at how easy it was to see the Milky Way: I thought I would have to wait for my eyes to become dark-adapted, yet I saw it as soon as I stepped out of the car - as clear as day, arcing overhead. I even saw it arcing over the M6, despite bright headlights from northbound traffic (mind you, there are no street lights of any kind on the motorway or other roads).

[image]local://378/E6EE6E5277DC4CD5AF3ACD9D5E1FE731.jpg[/image]
bob_ames
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm


Return to Light Pollution

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest