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Dark Sky any where near London?

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:24 pm
by Phil73805
Hi all, new to the forum and returning to astronomy after a long break. I was wondering if by any stretch of the imagination there is a dark sky site any where near London, Golders green to be precise. One thing I can say with certainty is that the light pollution is significantly worse than it was two years ago and my neighbours, bless 'em, have taken to floodlighting their back garden all night!

A little off topic but if any of you know of a friendly astronomical society in my area that would be fantastic.

Look forward to speaking with you all

Phil

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:06 pm
by HippyChippy
Hi Phil,
Can't advise on a local dark site, but welcome to the SPA's forum anyway. Perhaps some of our smog-dwelling members can help?

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:36 am
by chuenmanc
Hi

I doubt you'll find anywhere dark near where you are, but I would guess that Hampstead would be as good as it gets. There's a small observatory near White Stones Pond - I can't remember if the grounds get locked at night, but they might be amenable to you setting up near them. And does the heath get locked up at night? If not a high point there might be reasonable. There's also the heath extension which can't be locked, and has a big high brick patio, for want of a better description, which might just get you above the trees.

I've not observed in any of these places (apart from the observatory at Mars opposition), but I used to live near there. Of course if you have a car you can drive up the A41 to get out of London - only takes a few minutes when the traffic is quiet.

Good luck finding somewhere.

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:05 pm
by Phil73805
chuenmanc wrote:Hi I doubt you'll find anywhere dark near where you are, but I would guess that Hampstead would be as good as it gets. There's a small observatory near White Stones Pond - I can't remember if the grounds get locked at night,


They do get locked up :(
chuenmanc wrote: There's also the heath extension which can't be locked, and has a big high brick patio, for want of a better description, which might just get you above the trees.
I'm very familiar with the heath and the heath extension (avid mountain biker) but I'm not sure where you're referring to with the brick patio?
chuenmanc wrote:I've not observed in any of these places (apart from the observatory at Mars opposition), but I used to live near there. Of course if you have a car you can drive up the A41 to get out of London - only takes a few minutes when the traffic is quiet.

Good luck finding somewhere.


Up the A41 you say...hmmm....interesting. Any tips as to where to stop? Oh and were you a member of a local astronomical society while you lived here?

On a separate note I just recieved my new 15x70 binoculars from telescope house! :D

Cheers

Phil

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:35 pm
by chuenmanc
Sounds like you know more about the area than me, so perhaps I'm not the best person to help!

I'm not exactly sure where the big brick thing is. i tried to find it with Google Maps, but can't make it out, unless its the wall of one the huge houses on the edge of the wood. To describe, leave Golders Hill Park at the back to get using the exit to the left of the deer enclosure. Walking through the trees, aiming for White Stones pond, you'll pass a big ornate building on your left a few minutes after leaving the park. You can get up to it using either steps or a slope, and on top I think is a huge pergola and lots of plants and things. I've not been up there in about 15 years (when I last did any biking!), so the description is sketchy. There might be a domed structure up there too. Would be interested to find out what it actually is - perhaps you know, but my description was too poor!

So that's what I mean't - no idea how good it is for astronomy.

And again, not a lot of help with the A41, but I do know that once you get past the roundabout at Edgware it gets rural pretty quickly. Perhaps a daytime scout of the area might turn up a few likely areas.

I wasn't a member of any societies - I was interested in astronomy when I was about 12 or 13 and faded when my Tasco telescopes broke!

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:49 pm
by PaulC
Check out the light pollution map here:

http://home.freeuk.com/m.gavin/uknite.htm

Doesn't look good for the capital. :shock:

Observing sites in London

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:39 am
by Colin Henshaw
During the early 1970's I lived in Manor Park, and I used to observe on Wanstead Golf Course.

If there are any golf courses nearby you might be able to use them. Have a quiet word with a club official.

When I lived in Woodford Green I used a local cricket ground.