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.
*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.
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.