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waynezilla

Handling light polution

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Got out for about an hour when the cloud cover broke a little.

Now, its been a few years since I've looked at the stars in my back garden, and in that time a care-home a little way away has been built. Wouldn't you know that their "security" light really spills into my garden!! Thats on top of the two tall sodium street lights on a main road nearby.

There was partial cloud cover (which made things worse) and the moon was rising (we will let the moon off). The net effect is that it wasn't very dark at all (about 11pm). In fact shadows were being cast on my fence. It was impossible for my eyes to adjust and even some main constellations were hard to make out nearer the horizon.

What can I do to help myself? I ended up at the bottom of the garden hiding behind bushes!!

I also had my sights on getting a 10" netwonian, but am starting to think that a smaller more portable scope may be the best option. Whats best? A bigger scope to counter the pollution or a smaller scope and accepting that I cannot perform any exotic astronomy from my back yard. Also, it is very inconvenient to have to drive off somewhere with a scope. Even worse when the UKs weather is so fickle. Maybe I should just be patient and time my astronomy when objects of interest are as high as possible.

On a plus note, I aquired some Bresser10x50 bins which had their first outing and look like a bargain buy. Also several shooting stars (perseids?). Very common, but always great to see.

Still came in with a smile on my face though, so its not all bad. I'm digging an old Meade 4" reflector out of my loft to see if it is still servicable. Fingers crossed!

Wayne

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Hi Wayne

Light pollution is a real pain isn't it? There are filters available which should help a little but in your shoes I think I would accept that the back garden is going to provide compromised viewing and start looking around for a darker site nearby.

Is it worth asking the care home to fit a shade to their security light so it only shines where they need it and not into your garden?

It must be really difficult to balance the convenience and portability of a small scope against the better images of a bigger one. Personally, I find that portability isn't too big a problem, my C8 packs into 2 largish boxes plus the tripod plus 2 flight cases for eyepieces and the power supply. Ok, I have a Land Rover which swallows them very easily, but they will fit in the wife's mini too.

A 10" newt will be fairly long I suppose but should still fit in the back of a car. Bite the bullet and get it done I say :) the images from a 10" will be worth the hassle I bet.

Good luck either way.

Rick.

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Wayne

Have you approached your council - many of them see light pollution like noise pollution. They may help get the lights at the home redirected or covers fitted to the street lights.

Mike

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The good thing is, I have an 18 month old, and his room is lit up with the lights.. Seems like a good excuse to get them to do something..

I thing I shall approach the council to see if they can get me a result, especially with the darker nights approaching.

Wayne

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