Has anyone used Divis Mountain as an observing site and would they recommend it? Today I noticed the National Trust website says "The Divis Mountain car park is open all year and provides a good place to star gaze". www.nationaltrust.org.uk/article-1356401373154/
It's only about a 15min drive from me so would be perfect to get away from the bright south Belfast lights if it's suitable.
I've been meaning to check it out during the day but haven't got around to it yet. The car park may be locked at dusk but there should be enough room to park etc. Give me a call on my mobile if either of you are heading up. Weather is looking good for tonight 30-12-13?
I went up to Divis for about 1.5hrs from about 7 and the car park was open. There's a bit of a glow from Belfast which reached up to about the belt of Orion and I could just about see Saiph. The rest of directions were ok and I could make out about 4 of 5 of the Pleiades. I couldn't resist getting the telescope out but I think I messed with the alignment of the finder when trying to find the button for the red light so I couldn't see anything through it! :-(
There's a house beside the car park looking towards Belfast so the only time it bothered me was when a car arrived at it. There is a bit of traffic that goes past and about three times cars of young people came in and parked for a couple of minutes. I got a bit nervous when that happened but only once did they get out of the cars and that was to check on tyres. Only one of them said anything to me and that was just to ask was I photographing. It's probably not the bast place to go on your own but I thought the counterweight would make a good weapon if I needed one :-)
I wasn't expecting it to be as good as Delamont but I thought it might be better than what it was. It may be useful for some people and I think I would go up again but it would be good to get a second opinion.
Good report Keith, I think due to the location and any curious passers by, I'd be nervous about going there on my own. If you are going up again, give me a call and we'll get a small posie armed with knowledge and some counterweights don't forget we always have the 'ACE' up our sleeve though, just send Pook in to give them some verbal