An almost full campsite, dark skies, fantastic atmosphere, aurora and three pristine, mostly clear nights!
The Weather Gods smiled on the inaugural Kielder Forest Star Camp between 23-26 October. The gathering drew over 150 amateurs from across the UK.
The Milky Way arched overhead as virtually ever conceivable kind of telescope was pointed skywards, from the home brew variety to a 7" Astro Physics refractor and 20" Obsession.
Stunning views abounded and observers gave others the chance to compare views and see some truly cosmic sights. On a personal note the "wow" factor reached new heights with the view of the eastern portion of the Veil Nebula produced by a 20" Skywalker Dob brought to the event by Pulsar Optical. Also shown to wonderful effect were the dust lanes in M31. Breathtaking.
Spiralty in M33 was glimpsed with scopes down to 10" and NGC891 revealed its striking equatorial dust lane in a C14 with direct vision. A six inch F15 refractor, complete with supporting strut, also graced the field.
Peebles-based astro film photographer Mike Dickson deployed his 5" Tak on an EM200 to good effect and took some wide field Milky Way shots. The main day had three top-line speakers, with the talk given by Jurgen Schmoll a memorable highlight.