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What's the light pollution like where you're at?


Manok101
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I've stated a few times that I live in the southern US and after 930 pm or so the night sky looks quite good while I can't see the milky way I can see all of the major constellations plus a lot of the minor stuff(this only with the scope). I was just curios about where everyone lives and what the condition of the sky was as well.

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Mine is not good on average. We have a railway yard behind us and it all depends on them. If they are not working, the eastern sky is good but the southern and western horizons are always disastrous. If the railway are working there's no point in setting up at all, not even for planets. Imagine 5 full moons in the sky at once at that's how much light they kick out. A huge dome of light that extends right upto the zenith. So bright that not even a first mag star can be seen. And according to my local MP and local council, there's not a problem.....it's only me that has the problem!

Edited by russ
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I chose a sky especially for astronomy and the best I could find in mainland Europe offers a mag 7 zenith to young and talented eyes. Below about 20 degrees there is slight LP but the Milky Way certainly shines brightly down to the horizon. The Zodiacal light is very easy, the Gegenshein more difficult but I think I can see it!

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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My sky is pretty good, limiting mag 6.3 on VERY good nights, but that's all about to change in the next few years with a new housing development in my village that's in the pipeline (but not official yet).

There's a dome of LP in the north and east from towns 20 miles away. South and West is pretty dark.

Yup, I'll be the first to be requesting that ANY street lighting (we currently have none) be turned off at 11pm.

Can't move house at the moment, either. :)

Currently looking for dark sky sites for when the time comes....

Edited by Beulah
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I don't know the limiting magnitude, but it's not *too* bad where I am. Unfortunately the darkest part of the sky (S and W) are blocked by houses, the rest has a very large glow form Peterborough. So when imaging I limit myself to at least 60deg alt. That can be a bit of a pain, but the night sky is so rich with DSOs it's not really a problem!

Yup, I'll be the first to be requesting that ANY street lighting (we currently have none) be turned off at 11pm.

A big problem for me is a planned, very nearby 5,300 home development that will be a dark-sky disaster. In fact, I think I'm going to contact the council and the developer now to put forward a streetlight switch-off idea as you suggest Beulah!

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As light pollution goes i have some of the most effective in the country. :D

I have a dark sky/light pollution map on the wall in my study and I am firmly in the yellow area, far too close to the edge of the orange area created by London and have to go about 40 miles to get a site where the sky could be considered dark. I did once see the milky way from my garden which i thought was a miracle. There must have been a power cut somewhere :)

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limit is mag. 3.25 to 3.5 at the zenith gets worse of course towards the horizons. Ha ! "Horizons" who am I fooling, between my own house to the North, the gigantic Leylandi of a neighbour to the south, the security search-lights (neighbour) to the west I have a bit of a view to the East.

Edited by xyz
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I was chatting to a guy across the pond who thinks nothing of getting out in his campervan with his 22" and driving a two hour round trip to a dark site - it does seem that a lot of Americans do actually venture out and observe remotely. Of course, some areas do have frequent clear nights!

Considering how close relatively dark skies are to us, it's made me rethink the whole thing about observing in my garden - if you have neighbours, you will have light pollution from their windows, outdoor lights, car lights, etc, not to mention the smoke (chimneys) and heat coming from the houses. Not many of us own acres of land to seek a quiet spot and have to make do with our 20x30ft patch of ground....

Edited by Beulah
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ok,

although i have a garden it is hemmed in by tall trees and buildings and as such it is near useless combined with light pollution from town...........BUT i am only 5-10 minutes drive from meltham moors with lovely dark sky, just need to find a decent spot where i wont be "bothered"

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I suspect some of us could be getting darker skies sooner than we think, is your local council on the list ?. There is some debate with regards to the pro's and con's with switching off street lights. See the below links from BBC newsnight on the 10/11.

BBC News - Newsnight - Many councils switching off street lights to save money

Simon

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I suspect some of us could be getting darker skies sooner than we think, is your local council on the list ?. There is some debate with regards to the pro's and con's with switching off street lights. See the below links from BBC newsnight on the 10/11.

BBC News - Newsnight - Many councils switching off street lights to save money

Ooh, mine is on that list!

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I live in a small town in Alabama but over the years light pollution has gotten worse. A Hospital to the west and a Manufacturing plant to the south have grown. Street lights to the North. Trees to the east. Not a wash out though. Limiting magnitude aroung 6.0. The Milky Way is visible. The Andromeda Galaxy and the Ring Nebula in Lyra as well as the Great Globular M13 can be seen. This town is growing and it will only get worse. Used to be totally dark(30 years ago)

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I'm in a village and have some light pollution, especially to the north (Birmingham). The Milky Way is visible, but not to the horizon.

Unfortunately, the council have started replacing low-pressure sodium lights in the village with white lights. The skywatcher LPF is great for the former, but has little to no effect on the latter.

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Limiting magnitude is about 5 from the back garden. Light dome stretches from north west to north east and to about 20 degrees south of polaris. The south is lovely and dark as there's nowt but fields for miles and miles. But, the house is in the way. Stupid north facing back garden. Used to live in a city where the sky was literally orange whereas now I can see the Milky Way, so cannot complain.

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I live in a small (growing) village about 70 miles from London. Not particularly dark as I can see the Na and Na/Hg skyglow from Reading and Oxford plus lights from motorways etc, to say nothing of neighbours' security lights and village streetlighting.

However, on a clear night (after the rain usually) I can certainly see the Milky Way gloriously, and M31 reasonably easily with the naked eye. Even in my "bad" direction (N) on a night with mist and some diffused vapour trails, I can usually see mag 4.8 stars (eg in U Minor)

Like many of us, I suspect the future is "portable" - ie load the car with a large aperture dob and head off to a darker site where builders have not yet ventured - Wales, Bodmin, north of Watford or of course to S of France!

Chris :):)

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If you have Stellarium, fire it up.

Go to the "Sky and viewing options window [F4]" click on "show atmosphere". Ramp the light pollution figure up to 6.

That's what my skies look like most nights - especially to the South West where Reading town centre sits just 3 miles away as the crow flies. :)

Any haze or light cloud and it then appears that I live inside a giant orange dome of light. :)

Edited by Mike_F
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From my semi-rural back garden in the south-east, I have a VLM of about 4 - maybe a little better on very good nights when looking vertically. My nearest darkest location comes out at just over Mag. 5 from star counts, but it's not dark enough to see Andromeda, which I checked up on a couple of nights ago when it was straight above.

At home there's practically nothing visible within 30° of the horizon, though .... in the one direction where I have a horizon (due south) as everywhere else is blocked by trees and houses.

Edited by pete_l
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"What's the light pollution like where you're at?..."

It is like this (see pic below).

And if you thought deep-sky imaging was not possible from this particular street, check this....--> http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-tips-tricks-techniques/93728-examples-extreme-processing-extreme-light-pollution.html

post-16194-133877502042_thumb.jpg

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I can see the Milky Way pretty well, the garden is a South-facing slope which looks out over the village so views in that direction are mired slightly by the shimmering heat haze, plus there are two main roads in that direction so with all of the headlights and the occasional very bright farm vehicle headlights it's usually a bit of a wash-out near the horizon. Just two neighbours who like to leave some very bright security lights on, but I can still see a heck of a lot even with all of these distractions (most recently I quite randomly saw two faint stars which looked quite close to one another, though I have no idea if it was a pair or just two unconnected white dots). I can make out a fair amount of the Andromeda galaxy, wouldn't like to try long exposure imaging in it. I'll have to try a drive to the top of the nearby hill to see what it's like up there, we live on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, unfortunately for astronomers a lot of it at my end is wooded, heh can't win!

Edited by jonathan
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