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Light pollution

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The sky can also play games with you. I had a street light repaired earlier in the year to the rear of my garden and immediately assumed this was the cause of the sudden poor observing quality. For a couple of weeks I was pulling my hair out trying to make out anything other than the brightest constellation stars then I realized everyone was having the same problem. Apparently it was a very high level haze that was not immediately obvious but cause transparency levels to plummet. We naturally jump on light pollution as being the obvious problem but the sky itself has a lot to play in how well we can see the cosmos. I have since seen the Milky way overhead despite two st lights bearing down on me so don't loose faith.

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Fully agree with post #3.

Yes light pollution is a pain for most of us, no doubt about it.

But please don't let that stop you doing astronomy, a lot can be done under a dodgy sky. Sky objects least affected by LP are :-

Moon, planets, double/mutiple stars, the Sun of course (with proper filters) and lots of deep sky objects can be seen, if you can find a spot where local lights are not shining straight on you.

Regards, Ed.

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The difference may indeed be significant and you might not have to drive far. For me, it is often enough to drive 6 or so kms to the emergency airfield that is my current observation spot and the sky quality shoots up. Although the glow of 100.000+ pop. city is still impeding, it is way better and I am able to see the Milky Way very distinctly, M31 with naked eye etc., although there are parts of the sky close to horizon where observing DSOs is more difficult.

That said, it could be obviously better still. On one hand, I have not yet found a spot that would be reasonably far from where I live, that would be accessible, with safe surroundings and critically, even darker skies and I would not want to end up with a shotgun pellet in my arsenic.

On the other hand, I have my eye on couple of possible observations spots at the border of local military district (pitch black skies, according to light pollution map of Czech Rep.), so it may not be just a shotgun pellet :rolleyes: But no hard feelings however, as even now at my airfield spot, local Mi-24 combat chopper crews pay me a visit, showing off night landings with night vision goggles on. Considerate chaps, arent they?

However, rather ironically, I actually believe that, regarding light pollution, we cannot be sefish, as we are not the only people awake at night. Am I the only one thinking this way?;)

Edited by assasincz
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.......Am I the only one thinking this way?

yes :rolleyes:

Simply put the problem isn't lighting.. it's bad lighting.

However, with the credit crunch and global wailing, local authorities are now looking to / actually doing...

A: turn them off/down in the early hours of the morning when there's few people around.

B: Install properly controlled lamps so they need less energy to light the streets as they are only lighting the streets and not your bedroom window, back gardens, passing aeroplanes etc.

In the UK Lighting controlls should be part of building regs soon as well so that will mean proper controls over lighting. Poor lighting simply won't be legal.


Edited by rfdesigner
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I spoke on the phone with CFDS founder Bob Mizon a while back.

He was saying ministers have told him that asking for lighting controls is now 'pushing at an open door'. He was of the opinion that getting lighting controls into building regs was next and was more or less a matter of time.


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In all honesty places like newlands corner on a clear night would probably be ok, I know the Guildford astronomical society are having a meet there in the near future so I'd assume they wouldn't have chosen that site if it was that bad :rolleyes: just took me by surprise as I remember being there a long time ago with my camera and the sky being inky black. Their observatory is not much further down the road near dorking I'd like to take a look from there one day!

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