good locations near Birmingham UK

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astromani
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good locations near Birmingham UK

Post by astromani »

hi there.

I live in birmingham in the UK and I have recently purchased a 10" scope. Also my uncle just bought his scope and we are trying to find a good location to view near birmingham. Over the past 4 weeks there has been continous rain and clouds and if there is no rain then its the clouds. I was trying to find a good location near a coutryside or rural location where the affects of light pollution is miminum and view is good. The other problem we face is if we arrive at a location will it be clear i.e. free of clouds otherwise it has been a wasteful journey costing fuel. I found a suitable place in Willington near the decommissioned power station but i don't want to travel that far as the travelling on the A38 could damage our scopes.

Can anyone recommend a good location around birmingham. I don't mind travelling at least 20 miles but as long as we don't cause offence to nearby residents.


Thanks

Mani

Askew311
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Post by Askew311 »

Hi Mani,

A site that I sometimes visit is Burton Dasset Country Park. It's mentioned in my "Dark Sites in Oxfordshire" thread in the General Chat forum. I think it's around 30 miles from the top of the M40 unfortunately, so it might be too far for you depending on your exact location.

It's fairly dark, well elevated, and open 24/7. There are downsides (see the original thread) but it's generally okay.

Cheers,
Adam.

paulestar
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Post by paulestar »

Hi Mani,

Good to know there's another observer in Birmingham! I live to the west near Quinton - not very dark (will be even less so when they finish building another tesco behind me) but I can still see a reasonable amount of stuff.

I sent an email to Birmingham Astronomical Society a while ago regarding dark sky locations...they suggested the Clent Hills, I don't know how far away that is from you. Trouble is we have to travel quite a way to get out of the city lights. Like you, I'd be thinking about the liklihood of it staying cloud free from the time from setting out to getting there...the number of times I've set up the scope in the back garden, and only minutes later the clouds roll in! Needless to say, I've not even attempted to make it there, especially as it would mean standing on my own with expensive equipment...not a wise move security-wise!

As for transporting your scope, I've often put mine in the back of the car down the M5 to take it to somerset when I visit my parents, and I've not had to recollimate it (at least, I don't think so). (I think we have the same scope on different mounts, skywatcher 10" ?)

Let me know if you find anywhere that's easy to get to! Birmingham city centre isn't exactly the best place for observing!

Paul
Paul
70mm refractor (f10), 12x50 bincies, pair of brown eyes, 1 woolly hat

astromani
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Post by astromani »

hi Paul!

we live some distance away as I live near Acocks Green. I also just recently sent an email to Birmingham Astronomy society (gill pilfold) asking about good locations - must be a brummie thing! :D

Gill replied back with a location in a school called Priory School in Edgbaston. I have no idea where this is in edgbaston but i have to agree with the security aspect you had mentioned. Gill did mention the safety aspect as well but I emailed her back enquiring about this safety aspect whether its health and saftey or is a "carry a defence weapon" aspect.

Like you, I also have a 10" skywatcher on a dobs mount. The only problem I have is putting it in my small old car but I am sure I can get it in somehow. My uncle who just recently purchased his scope is also interested in finding a good observing location, so that makes three of us. Anymore brummie's out there?

I will keep this updated if I get anymore info from BAS about good locations.

Mani

paulestar
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Post by paulestar »

Hi fellow brummie :D

I think the school in Edgbaston is an observatory they use sometimes? The guy who mailed me back (I can't remember his name sadly) also mentioned this place.

I use an old quilt for padding when I move the scope in the car...it doesn't look very grand but it seems to do the trick! The hardest part for me is lifting the EQ6 mount into the boot - it is really heavy and very awkward to manoeuvre, but with a dob base I guess you won't have this problem!

Paul
Paul
70mm refractor (f10), 12x50 bincies, pair of brown eyes, 1 woolly hat

astromani
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Post by astromani »

hi Paul,

The dob mount is just as bad. As its a 10" scope I thought the mount will be big but not so big :shock: . The base on which it swings side to side is 15" approx in diameter but, it does not bother me. :) I would say the base weighs about 10kg to 15kg if not less and the actual scope weighs less than that.

The advantage you have is you can fold the legs and put it away, I have to assemble it and disassemble it but the joy of observing the skys so far using this scope overcomes the difficulties 8) . Saying it as difficulties is that others may see it this way but i see it as part of my hobby, which is to enjoy :lol: . If I do travel with it then I will have to assemble it and take it.

To travel with it on foot I may need a 2-wheel trolley and take it around with me, which I also have (found in a skip). The trolley's use was to carry 2 gas cylinders so a quick cut here and there makes its usable. :wink:

Have you taken any good photos of any sky objects as I would like to see what this scope is capable of showing?

Mani

paulestar
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Post by paulestar »

Hi Mani,

I've just sent you a private message

Paul
Paul
70mm refractor (f10), 12x50 bincies, pair of brown eyes, 1 woolly hat

krang2k
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Another Brummie

Post by krang2k »

Hi Paul/Mani

Iv been in search for some decent locations around Birmingham aswell. I have been up Clent several times with my dad with my old Celestron 114EQ.

Since iv brought a Celestron NexStar 8GPS but have not used it up Clent as of yet. As my dad now works night and as you have boh said because of the security issues. But with the 114EQ i did get some really good views.

Iv found a area up clent which is serrounded by trees that protect you from the wind and lights of Halesowen and Birmingham.

It could be a good idea if you both wanted to meet up some where and thenm go up Clent.

I live not not far from you Paul, just down the road infact on Masters Lane.

Craig

astromani
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Post by astromani »

Craig/Paul,

i sent a private message to both of you.


Mani

Vick
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Post by Vick »

Hi there, you all.

I haven't an answer. I live in Tamworth, Just outside Birmingham and wanted to say 'Hi' to some relative locals

evansj2000
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Brummie Dark sky sights..

Post by evansj2000 »

saw your thread and just thought I'd introduce myself.
I live near Merry Hill, (Hell), and I suffer from sky pollution
in that I get my light pollution occasionally interupted by the sky!!!

If you are interested in getting together over at the clent Hills I
would be interested as would The Birmingham Astronomical Society

Jase
TS152 f8 refractor
Rev 80mm Ed Semi Apo
Giro 2 Mount
8x42 Swift Bins

markt
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Post by markt »

My experience is the further you go west of the west midlands the less light pollution there is.
Meade 5" Refractor, ETX90, Coronado SolarMax40, C8 XLT CF CaK PST
EQ6 Pro, 15x70's, 20x80's
Canon 350D, DMK31

DRiley
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Post by DRiley »

I will be travelling down that neck of the woods next week (Redditch). Will be out on Wednesday and maybe Thursday night with the girlfried's dad with my 10" LXD75.

Any areas around there that you would recommend? I know a bit about astonomy, but am a relative newbie to observing...maybe we could tag along with anyone else out on these nights?

Dean

MickL
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Post by MickL »

If I could just bump this a little , Cannock Chase North of Brum Jct11 M6 there are great spots round there. Oh hi :wink:

Pauln
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Post by Pauln »

I am just to the south west of Birmingham in Bromsgrove. I am not far from the Clent Hills and the Lickey Hills, not sure what the light is like from those. I am not a member of a local group and am very much a beginner, but have thought of joining Worcester. Would be interested if anyone else observes down this way.

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