Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_dslr_mirrorlesss_winners.thumb.jpg.9deb4a8db27e7485a7bb99d98667c94e.jpg

Glob

Impossible viewing

Recommended Posts

Hi all, 

       Well I just went out in the garden for a hour (I was hoping for longer) and the viewing is just impossible now.

 Back when I last had a telescope (10 years ago) we had trees at the street side of the garden, but unfortunately we had to cut them down, and now the eastern sky is completely washed out by a street light, about 40/50 feet away.

 I was thinking about buying a new scope but unfortunately I don't think it's worth it now, because I can't see half the sky I was able to.

Rant over, lol. 

Any of you guys have street lights right next to your garden, if so how have you overcome the light pollution?

Regards Glob

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Binoculars... :bino2:

IMG_0020.thumb.JPG.241586db2c52cc04c0c195c5429fe63b.JPG

My view looking East. I have to put up with this! :cussing: 

Edited by Philip R
  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Aye, light pollution is the bane of astronomy :BangHead:

There are typically two types of light pollution. Light trespass and skyglow. There's not much one can do about sky glow other than trying to find pockets of darkness away from urban areas. Light trespass is where we can gain some control and make a more positive approach to our observing.

If possible try to block all intrusive light from your sight and site.

On a micro level, an observing hood is a great aid. Flocking the inside of a Newtonian (if you have one) as well as fitting a large yoga-mat shield over the end of your scope may help in blocking stray light from getting to the objective lens. Another thing I find extremely useful is a pirate's eyepatch :icon_pirat:. I observe with it on my non-observing eye and when I need to pull away from the scope, I slide it over to my observing eye. Another tip is to use a regulated green or red torch. These are all relatively cheap fixes and can't do one any harm.

On the macro level, erecting light-blocks and shades is extremely effective. I live in a small village of under 400 inhabitants, so the sky glow isn't too bad but I do have a huge 9m or 10m street light out back :blink: With the aid of PVC pipes and black sheets, I've made myself a couple of light shades that pretty much close off all the street light's glare. I've two of them and each measure 4m by 2m. I stick them in the ground at angles and they rest on a sliding gate. If it's too windy for them to hold up, I figure it's too windy for observing :smiley: Here's a simple sketch of the kind of thing being used:

1843983065_LightPollutionScreen.jpg.163f591a01467eaa8043ffe8f0ac92f5.jpg

 

Needless to say planets, the Moon, brighter star clusters and double stars don't require dark skies. And with a little effort at the eyepiece even planetary nebulae and globular clusters hold up reasonably well. Light polluted skies also offer the great excuse of going bigger and getting oneself a big Dob :icon_razz:

Edited by Rob Sellent
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a large LED street light right over the garden. The only place I have to view that is out of direct LP  is my small rear patio. I get good views facing North and west only.

30D8A94E-9563-4623-B093-74586B79BE24.jpeg

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I mean don't let that stop u worst thing u can do is give up. that will tear u up inside do what u like.

u can buy those deck blocks (u need 2 $8 each) this is the kind u build decks from. you can either put a 4x4 in middle and that goes upward or u can put a 2x6 or 2x8 whichever sideways.anyway I hope u know what I mean ill try to get a pic from internet.

then buy 2 fence poles 2" thick and 8 to 10ft tall

put the block 12 feet away from eact other with poles standing upwards, sorry before that buy a tarp bark blue ones and streach this between the poles and bingo u got a light shield.

if the street lights still make it through a tad paint or spray paint the tarp black.

after each time u take the poles down and roll it up and leave it against the fence till next time.

that should block out the lights.

joejaguar

Edited by joe aguiar
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you guys for your positivity and constructive comments.

No I'm not going to tet light pollution win, lol.

I think I'll make somthing to block the light, as you have suggested, and buy the telescope I had 10 years ago (10" dob).  

Thanks again 

Regards

Glob 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With light pollution around , you're better off getting an 8" Dob. It's not that old chestnut about a big aperture scooping up light pollution. It's getting contrast and easily moving out a lighter useable scope.

My experience was with a 10" Meade LB ( 63lbs) compared to a SW 8" Dob. There was hardly any difference in the views from town. Taking the 10" on holiday to very dark skies gave superb views , but for everyday (!) use I'd go f6 200p. In addition anything below f5 and you'll get lots of coma. You might care to ask others about their opinion.

Our garden gets direct light from neighbours who don't use curtains and love security lights. I use a couple of 6ft panels and some dark throws clipped onto washing line poles. Keeps the breeze out !

Clear skies ! Nick.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Yep, outdoor curtains Nick, that's the way. Had to do the same thing myself....:happy11:

Edited by Saganite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have this to contend with so I made a shade 2nd photo but that completely blocks my view south I`m now in the process of making a hood to go over the lamp then take it off when I have finished.

20171012_210148.jpg

20171023_182347.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 02/10/2019 at 23:44, Glob said:

Hi all, 

       Well I just went out in the garden for a hour (I was hoping for longer) and the viewing is just impossible now.

 Back when I last had a telescope (10 years ago) we had trees at the street side of the garden, but unfortunately we had to cut them down, and now the eastern sky is completely washed out by a street light, about 40/50 feet away.

 I was thinking about buying a new scope but unfortunately I don't think it's worth it now, because I can't see half the sky I was able to.

Rant over, lol. 

Any of you guys have street lights right next to your garden, if so how have you overcome the light pollution?

Regards Glob

Hi Glob,

Unless we're really fortunate, I think most amateurs are affected by either street lighting or flood lighting to some degree. It helps if you can find pleasure in observing things that wouldn't normally be your number one choice. I know a few astronomers who used to be keen deep sky observers, but because of the massive increase in both light pollution and aircraft vapour trails destroying our view, some now lean towards lunar and planetary observing from town. There's still a great deal to see even with a small scope in the deep sky, if you can find a way of blocking out the light sources that affect you most. Ive found that the biggest problem for me is the light entering my eye from my surroundings. Covering your head and eyepiece with a blackout hood of some sort will massively improve your dark adaption. Some on SGL have constructed high fences that act as light shields and wind breaks, while others have built small observatories, the simplest being a run-off roof shed.

Personally I love the moon and planets and find them to be an endless source of interest and wonder. They are dynamic and you never know what delights you're going to see if you observe carefully. And light pollution doesn't affect them to the same degree as it does the deep sky.

Attached is a pic of the flood lights thoughtfully placed by the council, which light up a football pitch near to me. Nobody uses the pitch at night! Thankfully they do go off at 10pm.

925476709_2019-02-0722_14_42.jpg.22cd989bab4e720c1217740d01f64b51.jpg

 

My answer to the problem was to build a small run-off roof observatory, from which even deep sky objects can be observed successfully despite the lighting problem.

IMG_0609.thumb.JPG.4d1ac48f69ac576ca46f9c5374362b14.JPG

1553711713629_IMG_0598.thumb.JPG.077ccb04275cf666737bb628f0319ce5.JPGIMG_20160205_175527.JPG.8141fecf4ac4948e3e44ea9d7fe36d7a.thumb.JPG.f649ce669b7285a6c2ecb3a250417687.JPG

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always primarily been a moon and planet man, though I do like really good views of the brighter deep sky objects.  Alas at home, though my conditions are a lot better than many (also aided by a run off roof garage) they are often rather insipid compared with a very good dark sky location.  I've been going to the equinox star party at Kelling since at least 2006, and this has always been my annual 'deep sky fix'.  Even the poorer clear nights at Kelling are better than the best night I will ever get at home.  Kelling skies enable my scopes to perform like  a much larger aperture and the views I get at Kelling every year (of both the summer and winter constellations) sustain me until the following year.  Even the views through my 9x50 finder can give me 'wow' moments.

I still look at deep sky on the finest nights at home - while thinking of how good it would be at Kelling.  However, it's not all doom and gloom.  Star clusters and double stars are less affected by poorer skies and if you have a good quality optic with fine contrasty images, you can still get a comparatively black background to these objects.  At home for instance I can always see the nebulosity surrounding the Pleiades on my best nights, and the Orion Neb and M27 can still be spectacular.  It's a matter of choosing the right night at home along with the right targets.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Street lights aren't so bad since LED conversion but now that it's darker the neighbours have become obsessed with security lights, these get set off randomly by prowling foxes, some nights it's like a disco here.

Dave

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went out the night before last to try and find M51 and M101 from my little patio. Failed totally. Had to settle for the Double Cluster and M45. I think I need to make a shield I can attach to that street light so I can use the main garden!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nige, I didn't think to mention it in my last post, but I also use a dark black cloth.  Buy some black out material from the local market or what ever and get enough to cover your head and shoulders and it will keep out any lights.   Also good to enhance the view of the sun in daytime.  Makes a huge difference. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul. That’s a great idea. We actually have some material left over from decorating our daughters room so will give it a go. The main issue I have is trying to find the fuzzies in the first place though my 30mm finder. Maybe a bigger 50mm would help?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 50mm finder makes a big difference compared with a 30mm Nige.  If you do go for a 50mm finder, I would buy a 90 degree one  with a right way round erect image to match any star/finder chart you may be using,   Even if you can't see the target object, if you put the cosshairs of the finder where the target object should be with relation to the star field then the target should be visible in the main telescope.  I'm pretty sure the version sold by FLO is a correct image finder, or you could try and get a used one.  Just make sure you have aligned the finder during the daytime using a higher power as you can on some distant object.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to only observe from my garden... pointless now due to a neighbour obsessed with perimeter lighting and a horribly bright new LED street lamp.  Very, very annoying!!

So i drive 10 mins to a darkish spot 😕

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel for you Glob.  I posted elswhere this week my similar woes.

There are some ingenius solutions here (as usual) but have you tried the council?

My local council has an easy to use street light reporting system. It's quite possible they may shield or reposition the lamp if it's creating light trespass.

I'm just awaiting a reply and hoping for the best before a catapult is required!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you drive Glob? There’s plenty of dark areas to view the night sky locally to you. 

Andy

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a limited view of the sky so tend to move telescope around depending on the target, but the drive way ( N E Aspect) is effectively out of bounds until after mid night when neighbour turns garden lights off. Although the lights are in fact directed away from my property the garage next door has a light render so  I am subject to reflected light pollution. Just recently the local authority has replaced the existing LED lamps with new; however the lights are designed to  fit on vertical poles in order that the light generated is directed down. But in an effort to save money the new lamps were fitted to the existing poles that have an angled profile. Below is the result. I have had a  moan, inasmuch that in my front bedroom I can now read a book with the curtains drawn but think my concerns are falling on deaf ears. 20190117_190224.thumb.jpg.78269ccf670e2562cd830521a28cb17c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have come to the conclusion that to avoid these issues you need to make a screen which is higher than your eyeline in the direction of the problem. You have to accept that you see less sky but the observing is enhanced by avoiding constantly ruining your dark adaptation.

I am building an observatory and can only look at a portion of the sky but the plan is that I won't be able to see any windows or lamps and therefore will enjoy less frustrating sessions cut short when lights constantly come  on.

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weed barrier fabric and a sewing machine makes a wonderfully useful, light and cheap blackout curtain and folds up to quite a small size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tank of petrol is the best way of blocking street lights....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many areas that now turn off street lights after midnight. Whilst this might not be ideal it does present us with an opportunity to observe from home under minimal light pollution and may solve the issues you are experiencing with the street lights?

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.