Jump to content

NLC-Banner.thumb.jpg.acb5ba835b9e8bf0718b90539633017d.jpg

That's it, never again!


Recommended Posts

Last night I had 2 of my grandchildren staying over and so decided to set up the ED100 so the older one could see the moon (he is only 8 year old) and he was suitably impressed with his 20 second glance, asked a few questions and to be fair did ok playing with the zoom which was inserted into the diagonal.  The intention after this little indoctrination was to do some double stars due to the near full moon washing everything else out but my next door neighbours, (both two houses down) had enough drain on the national grid to light half of lancashire with all the external light going on.

Fence lighting, flood lights, conservatory light cascades, you get the picture. So any chance of star hopping which was already diminished by the moon, were totally extinguished by the Burnley illuminations.

From now on the only reason to get a scope out and mount it up with be planetary or lunar or if Betelgeuse goes boom 😄

  • Like 3
  • Haha 3
  • Sad 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're not on you own, if theres any comfort in that.

Bortle 7 here. I sometimes think its nearer to 8.

A 30 sec garden exposure here (at midnight) turns night into day.

A 30 second exposure of the night sky results in a white screen.

M1 supernova remnant is invisible with a 12" Newtonian.

 

The aperture fever part of me that was active in the past has long since gone.

No point in me having a big scope anymore. 

Observing from home is Lunar and planets only, doubles and half a dozen or so DSO's.

Simply a case of making the best of what i have : Jupiter still looks nice in my 140 !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I came to the similar conclusions some time ago, faced with ever increasing local light pollution:

1. Invest in smaller and portable scopes which are to be taken to dark(er) sites as often as possible.

2. Thankfully the Moon, planets and a few of the bright double stars are still visible.

3. Longer term, I have planted some fast growing evergreens to block as much of my neighbours silly lights.

and when all else fails: thick bath towel over head. 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Nik271 said:

I came to the similar conclusions some time ago, faced with ever increasing local light pollution:

1. Invest in smaller and portable scopes which are to be taken to dark(er) sites as often as possible.

2. Thankfully the Moon, planets and a few of the bright double stars are still visible.

3. Longer term, I have planted some fast growing evergreens to block as much of my neighbours silly lights.

and when all else fails: thick bath towel over head. 

3. who's head yours or the neighbours ... lol

 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I got into stargazing dsos were what I was interested in but now I mostly observe solar system, double stars and easy showcase dsos only.

I have led street lights, security lights, room lights where households don't close their curtains at night, neighbors who have floodlights to light up their gardens at night so they can admire their plants, and if I'm out the front I regularly get car headlights in my face, I don't think anyone realises that it matters.

However I never talk with neighbors about how lighting affects astronomy as I've heard too many stories of neighbours doubling down on more lighting if asked to reduce their lighting.

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, Paz said:

When I got into stargazing dsos were what I was interested in but now I mostly observe solar system, double stars and easy showcase dsos only.

I have led street lights, security lights, room lights where households don't close their curtains at night, neighbors who have floodlights to light up their gardens at night so they can admire their plants, and if I'm out the front I regularly get car headlights in my face, I don't think anyone realises that it matters.

However I never talk with neighbors about how lighting affects astronomy as I've heard too many stories of neighbours doubling down on more lighting if asked to reduce their lighting.

Actually, I think it was the same for me re. DSOs. But my tastes changed over the years, now, it's just planetary (when they're high enough that is), lunar and solar, with the odd double star session thrown in to mix things up a little. 

"I don't think anyone realises that it matters." - Most people aren't even aware.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Space Hopper said:

You're not on you own, if theres any comfort in that.

 

 

The aperture fever part of me that was active in the past has long since gone.

No point in me having a big scope anymore. 

Observing from home is Lunar and planets only, doubles and half a dozen or so DSO's.

Simply a case of making the best of what i have : Jupiter still looks nice in my 140 !!

 

I got aperture fever once, bought a Tal 100 RS.🤣

Since I bought my Daystar in early 2021 35 out of 45 sessions in 2021 were HA solar, and 17 out 29 sessions so far in 2022 have been HA solar. With my smallest aperture scope.

Edited by Roy Challen
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Paz said:

However I never talk with neighbors about how lighting affects astronomy as I've heard too many stories of neighbours doubling down on more lighting if asked to reduce their lighting.

I approached my neighbour about her dusk-to-dawn security floodlight and she allowed me to put a light shield on it, so you never know... 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sympathise Steve.  Triggered security lights are on the increase, and a close neighbour has a garden/fence full of solar lights, plus a conservatory (facing me) which blazes away without blinds so that I have to shield my eyes when moving in the garden.

One plus: a sheltered block immediately to my south has turned off their permanent security lights, but it took 18 months and council intervention to achieve this!

Sadly, it seems that many targets are ever harder to view.  I have no chance with most nebs and galaxies.  Thank goodness for the Moon, clusters, and doubles!

Doug.

Edited by cloudsweeper
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over here no one seems to care!

It's all about look at me, look at me!

Homes have outside lights with sensors to turn them on at dusk. Driveways illuminated to find them easier. 

The local school and community center has new signage that stays on all night advertising their services and events.

I have often wondered, if "global warming" is really that important to those who can change it, why not mandate a 1/3 reduction in exterior lights for businesses that are closed at night.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Urban observing really feels like a running battle sometimes, but solar system objects, doubles and a clutch of brighter dsos can keep you busy with small telescopes. Even just being out under the sky getting some peace does you good I think. Often I pause observing to just sit there in the quiet and during some of those pauses a meteor or even a cracking fireball will entertain.

Building higher fencing, bodging a light shield tarp, persuading the council to shade an LED, laying an observing area in the darkest garden corner and helping a neighbour with adjoining fencing to keep his hedges and trees tidy have all been worth the effort. Especially on those rare golden nights when the moon isn't shining, seeing and transparency are perfect and you're off work the next day! 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is why I’m looking forward to retiring (sadly a fair way to go yet). The difference to my sky darkness between pre and post midnight is literally night and artificial day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree it’s frustrating - skies in Winchester should be Bortle 5 but local security & decorative lighting make the garden more challenging and real dark adaptation impossible.  

Outside of lunar and planetary I save my serious fuzzy-hunting for darker sites and regard garden sessions almost as a different category.  Also enjoy lazy GoTo tours from the garden and easy doubles with my classic refractors.  

Meantime I’ve got organised around the concept of grab and go - Mak 127 and ST80 live in their packs ready to walk/bike/drive to one of a few sites ranging from the local park, where I can decently avoid the security light problem and get a real Bortle 5, edge of town where I get just about Bortle 4 and rural 15 minutes away where I can get a good Bortle 4.  My next project (this weekend) is to make the 10” Dob grab-n-go ready :) 
 

 

EEB30D30-4B9F-4E44-86F5-C1C8FEED3D68.jpeg

Edited by SuburbanMak
  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My home skies are Bortle 8 or 9. It is still possible to have some fun chasing down those targets that are accessible, or doing some EEA or some not very serious astrophotography (my efforts are more accurately known as catastrophotography 😀).

But when I come back from a rare dark sky trip, it takes weeks to reacclimatize to Bortle 9. At first it seems a bit pointless.

Edited by Ags
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Pete Presland said:

You would think with the price of electricity currently (no pun intended), people with think twice about needlessly illuminating their gardens, trees, walls, drives, ect.......

I'm of the opinion that cheap LEDs are a major culprit here, especially solar powered ones.  If it only costs a few cents to run 24-hour LED lights, what's the incentive for morons people not to do so?  And if there's no cost aside from acquisition cost for solar, why not cover your garden / deck / whatever with them?  Nevermind that most people rarely even look out their windows at night.

Anyway, I've found that the best thing I can do is observe in the early morning hours before sunrise.  Many fewer indoor lights without window coverings and luckily there aren't many porch lights on.  A bonus is that the solar "accent" lights on a neighbor's back deck have been pretty well drained, so they're much dimmer than before midnight.  I'm in Bortle 8 or 9, so most galaxies are invisible no matter what; it's a good thing I like open clusters and double stars.

All my scopes are small aperture (80mm - 120mm), so I do take one to a dark(er) site whenever possible.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stree lights go a long way in ruining deep sky observing. Certainly much more than background light pollution. 

This is coming from someone whose house is at the corner of the street with a street light just a few metres away. The best you can do is to avoid the direct light by hiding behind a wall or a light shield like you said. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel your pain, I used to live in the midlands and had opposite me a gentleman who would flood his garden with his light show every evening, pond lights, walkway lights, security lights, lights around the fence posts (🙄!) the usual stuff!. A polite chat one day by chance whilst out walking had a positive effect, especially when I told him after he enquired what I was up to, ‘in my funny looking garden shed’ at night! I even showed him my observatory. I mentioned the effects of light pollution and how it can have an overwhelming effect on enjoying the night sky.

A few days later, several security lights had been removed, many of his garden lights were switched off or reduced in intensity and rather than just ‘another annoying neighbour’ he became more interested in my hobby!

So there are success stories as well as tales of woe. Ironically I have moved to Lincoln now and enjoy bortle 4 skies, near dark totality as all the street lights are switched off after midnight, heaven! And many of the neighbours understand and are aware of my hobby. It could all change, new family moves in etc but I always find having a chat and trying the personal touch works more times than not.

Edited by Neil27
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Neil27 said:

It could all change, new family moves in etc but I always find having a chat and trying the personal touch works more times than not

It all depends on your interpersonal skills... I think I sound like Seven of Nine in these situations: "Your photonic array is impairing the efficiency of my astrometrics lab. Take the photonic array offline. You will comply."

Edited by Ags
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1

I sold my 14" SCT since my skies are not dark enough to do it justice and for the little planetary and lunar work I do the [much] more manageable C925 is almost as good.  Shame really but we have to confront reality.

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A dismal situation all round. Unfortunately the majority of Brits live in urban centres, meaning that the majority of Brit amateur astronomers live under light polluted skies. My bete noir is a supermarket unloading bay with a light that comes on automatically every time a car drives past, and a neighbour who can't afford curtains...

As a compensation, I have found that EEVA vastly improves the visibility of faint fuzzy objects.

Dark skies would be great, but getting to them is logistically difficult.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

So my neighbours of some 25 years have just sold their house. Its the only house within 500 yard's of mine. I met the new couple who have bought it the other day and they seem very nice. Fast forward a week and he's really rolling the sleeves up to do some DIY, skip on drive full of earth and lots seems to be going on.  And what job did he think required doing first of all you may well ask. Well obviously lights on the front of the garage to downlight the drive. Luckily, this is the front of the house and the lights could be brighter I suppose and they are, thankfully, motion sensed.  But it does illustrate that the desire to do this is very fashionable at the moment. hopefully they are not bringing that fetish to anywhere else around the house....

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

......and what is this habit that so many people have nowadays with leaving upstairs lights on all night? Three houses around me do it and don't close their curtains. I think with all this illumination, people are actually more scared of the dark than they used to be.

I have to try and block them with washing hanging on the line! 🙄🤣

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.