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How do you deal with light pollution?


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Fitting a dew shield helps block out a bit of stray light, perhsps develop screening, by planting evergreen climbers, bushes and installing garden trellis etc. However like others, once you have developed a habit for travelling to a rural dark site, observing from home, if you suffer form light pollution, holds no appeal (the local light pollution in my immediate area has deteriorated to).

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I was thinking - having mobile observatory in a camper van or caravan, and drive to remote or top of the high hills with scopes would be ideal for coping with the LP. I would need to win the lotto for this wishful project - bought one Euro Million ticket for tonight with that in mind.

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I was thinking - having mobile observatory in a camper van or caravan, and drive to remote or top of the high hills with scopes would be ideal for coping with the LP.

Would it be stable enough for decent observation, or would it be too springy?

Maybe if it could be adapted so it could 'put down legs' like a heavy-plant vehicle ...

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Would it be stable enough for decent observation, or would it be too springy?

Maybe if it could be adapted so it could 'put down legs' like a heavy-plant vehicle ...

The camper van must be stationery parked somewhere cozy and nice, so you could have great nights of camping as well as stargazing. :)

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  • 8 years later...

I live in a small village where the street lights turn off at 12am. I get fairly dark skies with reasonable views of the Milky Way. That is until a couple of days ago, when my neighbour installed a very bright, unshielded light which he’s been leaving on all night. 

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1 hour ago, YogSothoth said:

I live in a small village where the street lights turn off at 12am. I get fairly dark skies with reasonable views of the Milky Way. That is until a couple of days ago, when my neighbour installed a very bright, unshielded light which he’s been leaving on all night. 

There's always one!🤬

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3 hours ago, YogSothoth said:

I live in a small village where the street lights turn off at 12am. I get fairly dark skies with reasonable views of the Milky Way. That is until a couple of days ago, when my neighbour installed a very bright, unshielded light which he’s been leaving on all night. 

If you get on with your neighbour, politely them round for a drink and/BBQ and show them the heavens above. If they have young children, I am sure they will enjoy the views too.

Obviously if it is to much and the light spill is encroaching your garden, then again have a polite word to explain and rectify the situation. Alternatively your local authority should be able to assist or have a look at the CfDS website.

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5 minutes ago, estwing said:

8 years ago!!!!

…and two from replies earlier today or three if you include mine.

Edited by Philip R
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Interesting to see the old threads resurrected! I haven’t read the whole conversation but I can relate to much of what I’ve seen in the discussion. I’m in Bortle 4 and generally have very good skies, certainly can’t really complain as 30 mins from a dark sky reserve, and one of the reasons I got into the hobby. The problem at times is localised LED lighting within my area- as I understand it due their continuous spectra LPR filters and the like don’t work - so I’ve never tried. I just rely on portable scopes to move around! Might need to contact the local authorities to see what can be done…

Saw a very interesting presentation at a recent virtual dark skies event on the impact of increasing light pollution on wildlife…

Area of interest so thought I’d chip in- no doubt all covered 8 years ago 😀

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I think this just shows  how common this issue has become and worsening over time.
Somehow I was hoping the spiraling enegry costs would get some more lights turned off,
but so far no luck.

Ask the enighbour politely about turning the light off late at night, you may be pleasantly surprised, many are.
Good luck with this quest, I know all about it and had to take very desperate measures to continue observing.
(All legal and not inflamatory either).

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1 hour ago, Alan White said:

Somehow I was hoping the spiraling enegry costs would get some more lights turned off,
but so far no luck.

Sadly LED lights are so efficient that people would gladly suffer greater unsecurity to have them on 24/7

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I hear these complaints being on the border of NYC / in NYC for my viewing. My house is Bortle 8 + these obstacles which can't be overcome:

 

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For blocking out the light, I think I'm just going to get a hood for the short term. Subscribing here so I can see where this nets out.

I keep having people encourage me on what I can see with my 4" reflector on a dob but Pleiades just resolves to stars, ring nebula I literally cannot find, period and Andromeda your guess is as good as mine if I'm looking at some kind of atmospheric aberration or the galaxy, it's that faint. I had an 8" SCT for a few weeks and just traded it in for a 12" dob, the telescope-shop guy again thinks I can pick a lot more out with my 12" but he's an hour more outside of the city, but he keeps telling me Bortle 8-9 I'll be able to pick a lot more out of the sky with the 12" but I remain unconvinced.

 

 

 

Edited by HiveIndustries
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On 13/10/2021 at 11:43, Philip R said:

If you get on with your neighbour, politely them round for a drink and/BBQ and show them the heavens above. If they have young children, I am sure they will enjoy the views too.

Obviously if it is to much and the light spill is encroaching your garden, then again have a polite word to explain and rectify the situation. Alternatively your local authority should be able to assist or have a look at the CfDS website.

Yeah, I’m going to go and ask him about it at the weekend and see what he says. He may be quite reasonable and not know it’s a problem I guess. It also makes our bedroom much brighter, which is annoying. It’s usually pitch black but we can now see the room quite clearly. 

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A hood is good as are screens etc.

My observing pad thread documents how I found a way of making observing at home possible once again.
I must point out I have a very understanding other half, she could have said no to a lot of my project.

 


 

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1 minute ago, YogSothoth said:

Yeah, I’m going to go and ask him about it at the weekend and see what he says. He may be quite reasonable and not know it’s a problem I guess. It also makes our bedroom much brighter, which is annoying. It’s usually pitch black but we can now see the room quite clearly. 

The bedroom being lit is the winner in getting something done if you need to involve the Local Authority.

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9 minutes ago, YogSothoth said:

Yeah, I’m going to go and ask him about it at the weekend and see what he says. He may be quite reasonable and not know it’s a problem I guess. It also makes our bedroom much brighter, which is annoying. It’s usually pitch black but we can now see the room quite clearly. 

 

8 minutes ago, Alan White said:

The bedroom being lit is the winner in getting something done if you need to involve the Local Authority.

That is a definite case of 'light trespass' in the eyes of CfDS... and your local authority. Light should only be directed within the confines of his property, not the surrounding neighbourhood. If you have some 'before' and 'after' images, then that is more ammunition in your arsenal to present your case. If he refuses to play ball, then tell the local authority officer that it is ruining your family sleep pattern. 

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I had one idea that I had to minimise lp was quite simple and worked really well. It's also something that people may well even have knocking around in a garden shed. I put up a dark material gazebo up without the roof on it just the side panels. It's not great if things are low in the sky but totally got rid of the direct lights from neighbours and street lights. 

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4 hours ago, Broadymike said:

I had one idea that I had to minimise lp was quite simple and worked really well. It's also something that people may well even have knocking around in a garden shed. I put up a dark material gazebo up without the roof on it just the side panels. It's not great if things are low in the sky but totally got rid of the direct lights from neighbours and street lights. 

https://www.bresseruk.com/By-manufacturer/Explore-Scientific/EXPLORE-SCIENTIFIC-Two-Room-Pop-UP-Observatory-Tent-Weather-protection-for-telescopes.html

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3 hours ago, Pixies said:

I had seen those advertised. The gazebo works pretty much in the same way but is a hell of a lot cheaper (I think mine cost about £70 about 7 years ago). Also had one in the shed anyway which quite a few people may already have too. Also knowing what pop up tents of varying sizes (I go to a lot of festivals) are like I can pretty much guarantee that a decent gazebo for half that price is most likely going to be far sturdier especially with a bit of wind about as pop up things especially that size bend really badly in the wind. 

The only issue with a gazebo is the roof bars will possibly get in the way of viewing in certain directions.  I haven't found this a major issue due to the fact that it doesn't take that long for what I'm observing to move past the bar to continue observing. As I don't do any astrophotography (yet) it's something I can easily live with. 

I also don't put the legs up to the full height, just enough to obscure the light sources. This also means that it's fairly simple to just pop the roof back on at the end of a session, meaning I don't feel that I necessarily have to go through the faff of bringing the scope back indoors in the early hours of the morning in the dark. Also good for the British winter weather when we get the inevitable clouding over and rain. Can just cover it up and deal with it under the roof or wait till the rain stops. 

 

All in all its basically a really cheap easy fix to block out as much light as possible. But what I will say is that a white gazebo with the more plastic type material isn't as good as it will diffuse any light that shines on it. So darker fabric is far preferable. 

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