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kelling heath

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:17 pm
by dean_kos
Returned from a weekend at Kelling Heath star party today, I arrived on site at tea time on friday to a warm welcome from the guys who had been there since the day previous. out with all the gear and setting up the telescopes and cameras then await the darkness ....... after a bit of cloud the sky cleared to uncover a sight I have never before seen, I could see the milky way stretching across the sky clearly, andromeda galaxy jumped out and couldnt be missed and the double cluster near cassiopea was easily visible all with the naked eye !! The view was stunning to say the least, nothing like back home were the yellow clouds roam. Ross then expertly guided my telescope to a number of messier objects and the current comet gracing our skies, all seen clearly and in great detail in the dark skies. I managed to catch some great images of the milky way and andromeda galaxy and even the pelaides later on in the evening upon which the cloud came over to cut the evening short, Ross and Carl managed some great footage of jupiter showing clearly the cloud bands and even the red spot using his webcam and telescope. The next day we all had a wander around the various other fields and trade stands, the selection of equipment both on show and for sale was extensive and everyone keen to invite you in to take a look at there setup. The evening of saturday panned out pretty much the same as the previous eve with the telescopes set up in the late afternoon awaiting the arrival of polaris for the final adjustments. I managed some fantastic footage of m57 the ring nebula using the scope and webcam and some more shots of the milky way using the canon dslr before alas the cloud cut short the evening. I would strongly reccommend any member to consider taking this trip as the views are simply stunning, it may be a four hour drive but its well worth it, eveyone is like minded, very friendly and keen to offer advice and information. Some great bargains can be had from the trade stalls, and Daves 'tour' of the whole site is not to be missed.
Many thanks to Dave, Ross, Carl, Gerald, Alec, Keith and Brian for a most enjoyable weekend and for all the help and advice given over the duration. I have some great images that I will share with all when processed and I feel my knowledge has increased greatly just by being there.......
Thanks guys.
Looking forward to a good nights sleep now whithout the unknown bloke in the tent next door snoring like a rhino all night !!! Special thanks to Carl for the ear plugs !!! :lol:

Re: Kelling Heath 2011

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:50 pm
by rwilkinson
Thanks for your quick feedback Dean, it's good to read how much you enjoyed your first visit to Britain's premier Star-Party. 8-)

This was my sixth successive visit, and just as enjoyable as ever. Although the weather was not ideal (dry and mild but with patchy cloud on the Fri & Sat nights, but Thursday night was near-perfect), with patience we still managed to do some observing and imaging each night (I've now loaded my processed images into our Gallery: ... stup&cat=0).
And it stayed dry all the time we were down there, so no packing away damp tents on the Sunday morning! :)

As well as the all the amenities on-site, we also enjoyed a steam-hauled railway excursion to Sheringham for fish & chips and ice-creams by the sea-side.

A few traders had set up stalls on the Saturday, along with lots of smaller dealers, and amongst the bargains I managed to get a nice little adaptor for my webcam (to a T2 thread or 2" draw-tube, and including a thread for 1.25" filters) for just £10.
Most of the pitches on the site had telescopes set up on them, so it was fascinating to go round in daylight and pick up a few ideas from other enthusiasts, and we also had a look at the advanced imagers from The Stargazers' Lounge in action one evening.

One innovation from our party this year was a little radio-astronomy: Carl and I picked up and decoded some images from the NOAA weather satellites, and were able to successfully predict a gap in the clouds on Saturday night. 8-)

The participants at this year's event will be presenting a joint slide-show sometime in the spring, but as the bookings for the September 2012 event were filling rapidly, we've already paid for four pitches for next year (which could accomodate up to eight of us). But if more would like to join us then the sooner we know, the better the chance of getting another nearby pitch or two - so please contact the Committee ASAP if you'd like to come along next time (14/15-Sep-2012).
And if you can't face the camping on-site, Keith & Brian can recommend a nearby B&B which does great breakfasts!