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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:34 pm 
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Location: Wellingborough
"Shining laser pens at pilots, train and bus drivers, and other transport operators, will become a specific offence under government proposals....the new law will mean that police will only have to prove the offence of shining the laser"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38871180

Looks like it won't be worth the risk to use a laser pointer for astronomy :?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:44 pm 
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This is ten years too late.

Laser pointers, at least bright ones, should have been banned, and anyone selling them or shining them at anyone, jailed.

Laser weapons directed at pilots may have been banned in warfare, although I don't know how effective this is.
To think that civilians should be allowed to shine them at people is ridiculous.

Regards,
David


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:04 pm 
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Dear David
I totally agree about the need to ban lasers.
Personally I was against amateur astronomers using lasers pretty well from the very start of lasers being introduced into amateur astronomy. I recall when it seemed to be acceptable to use lasers that were not very powerful, one or two amateur astronomers seemed to suggest they were experts in using powerful lasers and were quite happy in continuing to use them.
I live in a location frequented by aircraft, Ringway Airport being about 10miles away, I don't do any night observing now, but when observing the Sun it seems a rarity not to see aircraft flying across the Sun on many observing days.
Having said that, I do tend to think there are too many aircraft flying pretty well everywhere these days - but don't hear very many global warning experts recommending aircraft should be severely restricted; and they all seem happy flying all over the world to their global warming conferences. Meanwhile more and more Wind-turbines are cluttering up the South Pennines. I only need go about a mile from here to see a 24No, Wind-Farm I think the government are currently considering doubling the number of wind-turbines. I think the existing turbines are about two thirds the height of Blackpool Tower.
Best wishes from Cliff
PS If the additional turbines are constructed I think the Wind-farm will be the biggest on the English mainland.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:52 pm 
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Location: Lancashire
Although a giant wind turbine is a graceful machine in itself, they shouldn't be cluttering prime countryside, which is cluttered enough with pylons and towers of one sort or another.
There's a clutch of wind turbines here and local folk refer to them as the "Twelve Disciples".
Unfortunately, the turbines have destroyed the "wild" ambience of the moor, which also affects the wild ambience of the sky to some extent.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:01 pm 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
How about the Rampion Wind-farm off the south coast, near Shoreham-Lancing-Worthing? Last year the "Insect-Ship" (it stands up off the seabed on 6 legs,!!), has installed 116 bases (or plinths) ready to have the "blades" added soon. It has been an interesting subject to view on the camera-obscura and from the Viewing Gallery of the Tower. Fortunately they are a long way out and do not impinged on the unaided-eye. The South Downs (National Park now) here have Pylons marching across them and I often mention them and their cables in my reports of viewing Venus, Mercury or thin crescent Moon, from my house. The countryside here used to be dotted with windmills (before my time indeed) to grind corn etc. West Blachingtom Windmill is visible from the FT although Clayton's Jack & Jill are over the hill. as is Rottingdean's Windmill. I may have to research this subject if this grey weather continues ...the Sun has just popped out and....gone in again! regards maf


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:49 pm 
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Hi Mike.
Do they paint the hubs red or with smiley faces or spirals to stop the birds flying into them?

Do they have lights at night to stop aircraft hitting them?

Regards,
David


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
David: They have yet to finish one of the 116 out to sea so I do not know. There are two smaller ones near the powerstation and canal which I have not looked at very closely. I imagine that they must have some safety features especially as the English Channel is one of the busiest sea- lanes and with of course Shoreham Port adjacent.
In my list of Windmills "off the top of my head" in the Brighton area I forgot Patcham-Waterhall Windmill, I cannot see that either from the Tower as it is behind a nearby hill. There are about 32 old windmills Sussex, many converted into homes I think. Many burnt down like piers! The Bristol Clifton Observatory Camera Obscura was once a windmill, first for grain and then for snuff, that caught fire in a storm too. regards maf


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:59 am 
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Astronomical?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:24 pm 
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I'll carry on using laser pens as finders on my 'scopes while checking, as usual, that there are no aircraft in the vicinity of the target area.
The police would probably make allowances for the responsible use of the laser pens by dedicated skywatchers.
There are many items that are potentially harmful, but that a total ban on would cause great inconvenience to many people, e.g. kitchen knives.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:54 pm 
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I understand that in Australia, where they are well ahead of the UK with Laser-pointer legislation, members of approved astro-societies can be licensed to use these devices for legitimate purposes :)

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Wellingborough UK.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:30 pm 
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Dear Brian & Brian
I'm a bit curious, wondering why astronomers or rather I should say "amateur astronomers" really need to use lasers - whether Australian based, UK or anywhere else for that matter (?).
I know that professional astronomers use lasers - or at least I think they still do - I must admit I haven't heard much about lasers in astronomy recently but I'm getting out of date about many aspects of serious modern astronomy. My views about lasers might be a bit extreme, and of course I do not do any night sky astronomy now - however amongst other things, I think if "amateur astronomers" did agree to abandon using lasers it might help put amateur astronomers in particular in a good light (please excuse the pun if that is one).

Best wishes from Cliff


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:53 pm 
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There are two legitimate reasons why I use laser-pens Cliff. One is due to backache, and the other is to make the binocular mirror-mount easier to use.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:40 pm 
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(For info not advertisement)

I noticed this product in S&T. It's a device to fit a laser finder to your smartphone as an aid to help decide were the phone's camera is pointing while using apps tolocate objects in the sky. Says for use with up-to 5mW laser pens , presumably legal then in the US?

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronom ... er-finder/

The people who sell the laser-holder also market astro-apps for smart-phones,

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52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:42 pm 
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Dear Brian(Lancs)
Let me first say - I accept my stance about using lasers for amateur astronomy is somewhat extreme, possibly in many peoples eyes. Furthermore I have to say that, as far as I know personally there have been no serious aircraft accidents caused by lasers being used by amateur astronomers since lasers came into use, possibly a decade or so ago. Although I think (?) there have been a few incidents caused by malicious laser users.
I won't comment about your mention of legitimate laser use because I don't know exactly what the law says. I suppose it's easy for me to talk because I don't use lasers and do not envisage I ever will need too. However, I can think of some reasons why it might be a good PR exercise for amateur astronomers to not use them.
Best wishes from Cliff


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