Thorner’s Dark Skies in October 2012

After the rain at the Kielder Forest Star Camp I came back home to Thorner to get a good night’s sleep. When I had a look outside I saw it was really dark, so I thought I’d take the advantage and take a picture of the stars.

Aiming my Canon 7D at Cassiopeia, I took a 30 second exposure with ISO set to 800 to see what I could capture. As you can see, there are plenty of stars, and you can even make out the Milky Way going through the middle of the picture.

Though the focus of the picture was Cassiopeia and the Milky Way, I couldn’t help but notice that the great galaxy in Andromeda is also fairly visible. This is not quite as clear as the shot I took at last year’s Kielder Forest Star Camp – but it’s still pretty good.

Kielder Forest Star Camp October 2011

Twice a year astronomers head north to Kielder Forest to enjoy the dark sky as part of the Kielder Forest Star Camp. This year was no exception, bringing us the 9th Autumn Star Camp which included talks from a couple of members from our York Astronomical Society, a BBC television crew filming for The Sky At Night as well as some interest from The Guardian.

Unfortunately, as is usually the case with these things, the weather was not ideal, but I did get one good night of seeing on the Thursday.

Even the dark sky of Kielder is subject to light pollution, but here you can make out a very prominent Jupiter, the Pleiades and a rising Orion.

Here I just pointed my camera up towards the Milky Way, where there is far less light polution.

You can see a close up here of the Andromeda Galaxy. This photograph really reminds me of the early pictures I took of Jupiter. Just imagine the detail I’ll be able to get in the years to come! (If I ever get equipment like the very impressive telescope shown below…)

The larger versions of the pictures above have been uploaded to my Flickr page if you want to see the details.

For myself, no trip to Kielder Forest would be complete without a walk up Deadwater, which has some of the most amazing views! *

* and mobile phone signal…