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Possibly a silly question but....


Seamaster
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Are the planets always to be found in the south?

I have a north/north west facing garden, surrounded by a 6" fence and with my house blocking the southern sky except for very high objects.

Therefore viewing is not good.

In fact I have yet to use my scope as even if any objects were viewable from my garden, it's never been clear or dark enough at any time I can be awake and set up (early rise for work).

Beginning to wonder if I need to either move house or sell up the scope?

Please give me hope!

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Iam afraid it's not looking good. The Planets follow roughly the same path as the Sun and Moon. The Planets will be higher in the winter as the angle of the Earth changes, but if you don't get a good view of either the Sun or Moon, then the only realistic option is getting mobile and going to a dark site. This will improve your view of them as well, so it's not all bad.


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Hi Neil,

Just as the sun rises in the east gets to its highest point around mid day in the south and sets in the west, so do the planets, because along with the earth they all orbit in roughly the same plane. So yes, planets are always at their highest in the south.

If you can learn your way around the sky, there are lots of interesting things to observe in the other areas of sky that you do have access to from your garden. You can see double stars, variable stars, star clusters, and some nebulae and galaxies. If you learn to find where the planets are relative to your house and garden, I'm sure you will find some times where some planets can be seen from your garden.

Another really good option is to get away from the city lights and bring your scope to a dark site meet at Belper or Wymeswold. Members will be happy to help you find some really interesting objects.

The longer nights of autumn, winter and spring will bring you even more opportunities to observe without affecting your work schedule.

If you don't already have it, Stellarium is free and will really help you learn your way around. http://www.stellarium.org/

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Thanks for the replies guys and yes, I think getting out and about is the answer!

Trouble is that this time if year seems poor for viewing unless you want to stay up half the night?

A dark site meet is a good option and Belper is the nearest for me being in Derby.

It's so frustrating having a new scope and being unable to use it!

I don't have a portable power source yet so perhaps investing one is a start?

A meet up with another skywatcher would also be a good way to kick start and keep the interest fanned?

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Keep an eye on the EMS meets section, we start to get astro dark again in 4-5 weeks,so the meets will pick up again soon.

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Guest Tweedledum

Hope it's 6" fence, my fence is nearly 5'.. As above follows the same plane, Pluto a bit eccentrically! Also roughly have my house in southerly direction, field up road provides good all round vis especially S, W and E.

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My plot is E-W, with the house on the E end, with the S side blocked by next door's house (which is also uphill to compound the problem). I think, at best, I'm restricted to about 25 degrees above the horizon E or W and about 70 degrees to the S. You find ways round it - top of garden is higher, so I use that for anything rising in the E. I can use the patio by the house for anything SW or W. Middle of lawn is good for N. However, the scope hasn't been out for about 3 months. I just use binos for a quick sky fix...


 


Alan


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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a 127mm Mak and carry it around my neighbourhood as needed. Most of my neighbours don't mind me plonking it on their front drives so I can get a better view of whatever it is I'm trying to see. Of course, if they are around, I'll need to show them something but that's no issue really.


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