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Light Pollution Questions

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Hey guys,

I've just got a couple of questions about light pollution.

Last night I was hoping to get my first glimpse of Andromeda. It was about midnight and a perfectly clear sky. But unfortunately, there wasn't much for me to see... I'm 100% sure I was looking at the right thing, but I could hardly see anything. Just a faint smudge at the centre. I'm guessing this is because of light pollution?

I know in the summer months the sky never gets properly dark, but surely it's dark enough now to observe Andromeda?

I have heard of light pollution filters, but I don't know anything about them really...

I found this one on eBay:

SKYWATCHER LIGHT POLLUTION FILTER 1.25" on eBay (end time 21-Sep-10 12:40:55 BST)

Would that be any good? Or is it just some cheap rip off?

My scope is a Celestron Astromaster 130 EQ (5 Inch)

Also, just a quick second question...

What is the best colour filter to bring out the detail in Jupiter?

It's very bright without one, meaning most of the detail is washed out...

Thanks very much for the help


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You are not doing anything wrong. At the moment M31 (Andromeda) is being washed out by the glare of the moon.

It is observable but difficult. Best to observe it when the moon is not around.

The SW light pollution filter really does make observing easier and is well worth investing in.

As for observing Jupiter..............i have found that a simple yellow coloured filter drags out detail. The same filter works as well with Saturn.

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The nice thing with the Skywatcher LPF, is, as the 'blurb' states - Light Pollution Reduction - " This contrast-enhancement effect is particularly apparent on nebulae. Unlike stars, emission nebulae give off light in a very narrow range of wavelengths. The filter allow maximum transmission of the important wavelengths of H-alpha, H-beta and doubly ionized oxygen – the ones most commonly emitted by nebulae.

Views of galaxies and star clusters are also enhanced, but to a lesser degree. Also improves contrast on reddish planetary detail. "

I do find the contrast overall is improved with my ST120, and can confirm the help with nebulae, etc.

It's not as heavy a contrast as the UHC (= Ultra High Contrast - and also a very handy filter), but it does make a valuable contribution and either the LPF or the UHC lives in my 'scope (I got 2" versions and they live on the nose of the diagonal).

Excellent value really, even if you don't have light pollution per-se.:o

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I'll have to try this out. I've got the light pollution filter but never use it.

Don't worry andromeda looks like a light blob to me too.

I would imaging more aperture and darker skies would help tremendously.

Edited by Kef9
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