Stargazing in Trent Park

This meetup suggestion was created to see if anyone would be interested in/willing to travel to a location just outside of London, a bit further away from disturbing lights. The best location I found so far is Trent Park at Cockfosters, the end of the Piccadilly line.

I suggest we meet at the entrance of the park, a few minutes walk away from the station. When exiting the station, just turn right and follow the main road leading out of London.

Trent park is a huge area with large open fields surrounded by woods. We can easily find a place where all direct lights are hidden behind the trees and at the same time we can observe a big patch of sky. I have been out there at night and although I found that light pollution is of course present from the light reflected from the water vapour and other particles in the air, the conditions are significantly better than in parks inside of London. The northern half of the sky is reasonably good for observing some deep-sky objects. I was able to find several open clusters from the Messier Album last time and also observed the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn.

Wet footwear may be needed for soggy grass, and DEFINITELY bring warm layers and a hat and ideally gloves/warm pockets, scarf. Also, a flashlight or headtorch is a must for everyone, it is quite dark in the park and it's easy to loose equipment (or possibly yourself:)).

If it rains lots or terrible skies I'll definitely postpone it, I don't want anyone to travel that far out for no good reason. We will re schedule it until the perfect opportunity comes.

We'll head inside the park once a few turn up or we've been there a little while, if the skies are looking good for it. Later on I'll add more details (and possibly map) on where our observing spot will be inside the park.

Please be considerate and update your rsvp or call me [masked]), if you can't come and said yes, or want to come last minute and haven't rsvpd as things can change last minute. Beware I might also be travelling and out of mobile reception for a while just beforehand, so please plan early and/or send a text message/leave a voicemail with details of your name from the website and of course a way to contact by phone/text if you expect/need a reply.

I'm bringing my 20x80 binoculars and tripod, if you have a 'scope or binoculars do bring them if you can..

What we can potentially see

It will be almost new moon that night so it should be as good for deep-sky observations as it gets. The moon will be a very narrow crescent only, which is actually a quiet visually satisfying phenomena in itself, if we are lucky enough to spot it before it sets at dusk. It is likely that it won't be visible with the naked eye as the sky will be still too bright.

Planets:


*Jupiter for a short period after sunset.

*Increasingly good views of Saturn as it climbs higher after sunset.


Some open clusters:

*M35 in Gemini

*The double cluster in Perseus

*M36, M37 and M38 in Auriga*M44 (Beehive cluster) and M67 in Cancer


Some globular clusters:

*M13 and M92 in Hercules


And the stellar remnant nebula M57 in Lyra.


As the Andromeda galaxy will be below the horizon, I don't think we'll be able to see any galaxies this time. Perhaps we can try M81, but don't get excited, it's still London.

 

Getting there

Like I said above, take the Piccadilly line to the last stop on the North, get out of the station, turn right and walk about 200 meters to the entrance of the park where we meet.

Look out for updates here coming up to the event! It is likely that some details will change.

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  • Alberto Z.

    Sorry, I have to pull out at the last minute... I was really looking forward to stargaze tonight but I can't. Cheers

    June 14, 2013

    • Gabor

      No worries. The sky doesn't look good anyway. I'll reschedule this meetup.

      June 14, 2013

  • Gabor

    Weather is pretty unpredictable. We'll see how it goes. If you decide not to come due to cloudy weather please write a reply, message me or call me. [masked]

    June 14, 2013

    • Gabor

      Or simply change your RSVP... :)

      June 14, 2013

  • Gabor

    I was thinking Saturday the 15th first, but I see there is another meetup scheduled by John in Streatham on that day. So let's see if anyone is free on Friday night, the 14th?

    June 3, 2013

  • Gabor­ changed the date and time from Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM to Friday, June 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    June 3, 2013

  • Gabor

    Hi All,

    How about the week after?

    Cheers,
    Gabor

    June 3, 2013

  • Gabor­ changed the date and time from Saturday, June 08, 2013 at 8:30 PM to Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    June 3, 2013

  • Peter D.

    Unfortunately, I am already booked up that evening. So I will have to miss out on this one.

    June 3, 2013

  • Gabor

    Hi all. Sorry I didn't reply but I was travelling in the past weeks. So according to the RSVP's it looks like nobody can make it this time... I might well move it to a new date then.

    May 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    seems cool and i don't work on saturdays so no last minute contingencies...

    May 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    grr. im terribly sorry something i was booked up to do the weekend before has been moved and i cant get out of it. very frustrating. i was very keen to do this.
    i could do the sat b4 now or sat 22nd.

    May 23, 2013

  • Gabor­ changed the date and time from Friday, June 07, 2013 at 8:30 PM to Saturday, June 08, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    May 10, 2013

  • Gabor

    I'm glad to see you're still up for it. Hope others will join too. I have another meetup on Saturday that week but it seems to end early afternoon (just checked) so let's change it to Saturday.

    May 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    saturdays are best for me but i can do some fridays

    May 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    still up for this on the new date

    May 10, 2013

  • Gabor

    Feel free to recommend different dates if that suits you better.

    May 10, 2013

  • Gabor

    I changed the date for this meetup as the weather won't be 100% good. There will be rain in the afternoon/evening. There may be short openings from 9pm but I don't think it's worth the commute for anyone.
    The next weekend I'll be free will be in June as I'll be travelling for 2 weeks in the second half of May.

    May 10, 2013

  • Gabor­ changed the date and time from Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM to Friday, June 07, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    May 10, 2013

  • Gabor

    The weather doesn't seem too promising for Saturday. Let's take a look at the forecast tomorrow.

    May 9, 2013

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