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Does light pollution really make it that bad?

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Your experience of Andromeda through a 14" is interesting though. In my ignorance I would have thought that you would start to see some detail on a scope that size. Which leads to the question, 'How big an aperture do you need to start to see some detail?'

with galaxies I don't think it matters how much aperture you have (within reasonable amateur limits) if you are observing from light polluted sites.

I have easily seen dust lanes in M31 and spiral arms in M33 and M51 from dark sites with my 12" dob and suspect you probably could with a 8-10".

I know someone with a 22" f5 dob and they can just see spiral arms in M51 from a light polluted site.

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I'm always in awe when I'm out in the country on a dark clear night. So many stars I can't recognize the few constellations I know. It's easy to forget they're there when living in the city.

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While people might call your bluff if you claimed to be a keen sailor and you lived up a mountain, almost nobody is aware that England (or other parts of the British Isles) is just as impractical from an astronomical point of view. :)

That training is coming in very useful right now because even here in so-called Sunny California we have been clouded out for the last couple of nights and look to be the same for the next night or so :(

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I tried for ages to try to find M101 in U Mj with a 10 inch Dob at home, never could see it due to the light pollution - was then able to see it with a 4 inch astroscan from a dark forest 6 miles away - fog rolled in and hid all the light pollution from the town!

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