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Old 09-02-2021, 08:34 AM
garymck (Gary)
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Location: Geelong
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scope pad placement?

Hi,
I've been fortunate enough to move house away from my completely light polluted home in inner city Geelong a week ago, (which caused me to sell of some top quality gear an effectively put the astro hobby into hiatus) to a home outside Geelong (Batesford) with much, much better skies. My sky still looks east, but the light dome of Geelong is only up to about 30-35 degrees. Skies at the zenith are black - I saw the milky way for the first time in 8 years last week!! Getting my motivation back.

Like most places, nothing is perfect. I have attached a pic. I have an unrestricted view to the east, blocked to the west by hill and a row of mature native trees, trees to the north and south. (-this pic is a few years old and the trees have grown substantially since then. Trees have also been planted in the area near the shed at left of pic) North is at the top. I have marked 3 possible spots I could put a pier. 1 and 2 give me pretty good views to the south, east, and none to the west, and very little to the north, 3 gives good views to the north and east, but restricted views to the south.

Which would you choose for a permanent pier? or would you just leave everything moveable from one spot to another? Suffering a bit of difficulty in making a decision here....

cheers
Gary
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2021, 09:17 AM
glend (Glen)
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Gary, congratulations on your new house. I have a similiar issue with my site, which informed my choice on the aspect of my observatory. My view to the East is totally clear, aside from some mature natives trees in the distance that do not rise above 20 degrees. My view to the south is unimpeded. To the north I have trees up to about 45 degrees, and the West is pretty much blocked by trees in the reserve behind my property but I can get down to 65-70 degrees in that direction.
So my attitude, regardless of if your visual only or imaging, is to always go for clear views to the East and South, based on the fact that everything rises in the East - you will always get to see or image it; and to the South because of the many Southern Gems that rotate around the SCP. Your more southerly latitude is going to make some northerly targets difficult anyway, like Andromeda.
As a rule I do not image below 40 degrees anyway, because it is just good practice to minimise the thickness of the atmosphere your shooting through ( so your light dome to the East maybe mostly avoided).. I can image through the Meridian on any target, and that is good enough for me. So i would recommend you choose 1 or 2, for clear East and Southern aspects. And really, why not build an observatory too?

Last edited by glend; 09-02-2021 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 09-02-2021, 10:09 AM
JA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garymck View Post
... Skies at the zenith are black - I saw the milky way for the first time in 8 years last week!! Getting my motivation back.
Sounds like a great move Gary From roughly where you said you were and now are you've gone from a Bortle 6 sky (~12x Dark Sky) to something like a Bortle 4 sky (~2x Dark Sky). That would be wonderful.

As to where to put your pier - perhaps location 1 or 3, but more southerly (towards the house) if possible, but that depends upon how low you'd like to view, perhaps even at location 1 or 3 you might still see say 50 degrees and above. Anyway I'd say it's a nice problem to have. Perhaps an observatory close to/attached to the house?

Best
JA
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Old 09-02-2021, 06:08 PM
garymck (Gary)
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Glend and JA, I think you are both right - I'll put a pier at point 1 or 3 for the best view of the south, and just a pad at point 2 for when I want something a bit northerly.
JA, my old spot in Geelong West was far worse than Bortle 6, more like 8 or 9. Even on clear nights it was hard to see more than a dozen stars. Had no west due to houses, a bit of south, east looked directly over the centre of Geelong which was only a km away, north was lit up like daylight by Geelong's main railyard full of sodium lights....I tried and tried, I think in 7 years I got maybe 3 images I would have been happy to show....Much better skies now :-)

cheers
Gary
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