Standing stone

It’s 50 years since a group of undergraduates from the Cambridge University Astronomical Society had a holiday surveying megalithic sites in Argyll to investigate possible astronomical alignments. It was a lot of fun, and we even wrote it up and the results were published in a paper in Nature 253, 431‑433 (1975) which was probably something of an achievement at the time, though I’m not sure that we realised how much!

We had a great time meeting up and revisiting old haunts in the area.

The Milky Way

Having dark skies in Dumfries and Galloway is great. It means that on a moonless night the Milky Way is visible, and the autumn views are best because there’s a nice bright bit almost overhead. Here’s the Milky Way in the region of the “summer triangle” of stars Vega, Deneb and Altair; I have added annotations for some constellations. This is just taken with my ordinary Nikon D3100 DSLR, and is a stack of 10 second exposures at f/1.8 with my 35mm lens, to give a total exposure of 2m 20s. The reason for the short exposures is that I was not usuing a tracking mount; the camera was simply held fixed.