It was planned to visit our new dark site at Broad Acres Fisheries on the evening of Friday 12th August 2011 to observe the Perseids Meteor Shower, however conditions were cloudy and text messages were exchanged between Mick and Derek and it was decided to stand down on this occasion, but to review the situation on Saturday evening.
Whilst conditions for observing on Saturday were far from ideal, we decided to visit the dark site and check it out anyway. Three of us set out around 21.15 and headed towards Elcocks Brook, no, on this occasion the pull of the dark was greater than the bright lights of the pub.
Arriving at the site via a twisty, narrow route, after about ten minutes or so and not knowing exactly what we would find, we were pleasantly surprised to find loads of hard standing for parking and tripods, a 270 deg of virtually clear horizon, and if you moved further south, the northern skies would open up also. There is also a red light (which we estimated could be the same one that we always used) for setting up finder scopes or red dot finders. We were not alone however, there was one caravan c/w hawning so obviously by arrangement, and a couple of anglers by one of the pools, however no interaction took place between us.
There was a full moon on Saturday, but round about ten o’clock stars started to appear, and we were blessed with a clear patch of sky, and the Plough, Casiopea, Cygnus, and even one meteor was spotted by Mick, and we got rather excited speculating on what could be visible on a truly dark winter night.
Comments that I received on Sunday:
“What did ya think of the new dark site? I thought it was really good, the southern horizon was brilliant, and it looks like there is going to be no light pollution. In about November, December time the sky will be pitch black there I reckon.
The bright star we thought might be Jupiter was Capella” .
“I thought it was a brilliant place, we are going to see a lot more objects in the sky”
My own view is that we are in for some excellent observing, and well done to the team for sorting this one out for us.