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Hello folks.

I've had my scope for a couple of months now (6" Newt) and have thoroughly enjoyed using it. However, since I bought it the following things have happened:

  1. The streetlight outside my house has been fixed (after 2 years);
  2. The once vacant house to the south has been occupied by people who don't believe in drawing curtains when there are lights on;
  3. My next door neighbour feels the need to leave his security light on all night and...
  4. ...his neighbour has had the same idea :).

While the sky is still fairly dark since there are no visible 'domes' of light pollution my back garden is now quite light - almost enough to read by. To combat this I am considering buying a dew shield and the Orion Observing canopy to drape over the focusser/eyepice and myself. Would this have any effect? The scope is equatorially mounted so the eyepiece can end up in some funny places but my thinking is that the dew shield should stop the canopy draping over the scope.

Any other ideas/suggestions you have are most welcome.


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I have some similar problems, perhaps not quite so severe, but I found that a dew shield helped a lot. It keeps the stray light out of the top of the tube and away from the secondary mirror. The scope in question is a 10" newtonian and the dew shield is an Astro Engineering one which is lined with a matt black flocking material and projects around 10-12" above the top of the tube.

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Hi Monty. I've found that it's best to make friends with new neighbours

first, and then mention your hobby and that lights do cause a problem.

If you also say that you understand their security worries, you are much

more likely to get a favourable response. You could ask them round to

look through your scope. Pick some wow objects like the moon or a bright

planet, and then explain that many targets are very faint and bright lighting

(or any lighting) causes problems for you.

It's not guaranteed to work but worth a try. Most folks will be unaware their

lights could be an issue for others.

Good luck, Ed.

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I like the idea of the observing shroud to cut out annoying stray light while at the eyepiece. Maybe you could save yourself a bit of dosh by making one out of a large piece of black material that doesn't let the light through. I googled about shrouds and found a message on CN that suggested sewing in magnets to one end of the the fabric and using that to securely attach it to a steel-tubed OTA and making it easily removable as well.

I suppose someone with basic sewing skills could make it work. It is yet another project to add to my list of things that have yet to be done for one reason or another.

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When I used to use a Sinar 5x4 camera, I bought a shroud and it was probably stupid money. It was basically a thick black piece of material with a silky type lining, and there were weights (felt like small fishing lead weights) sewn into the hems. The lining is a good idea as it doesn't 'stick' on your head! I would think you could get all the materials, weights included, at your local market for very little money.

Shame about the neighbour, but good advice above.


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Leyllandii hedge?

This has occurred to me but it’s a dangerous path to go down. Thankfully half of the bottom of the garden is covered by a huge leylandii hedge already which blocks a streetlight.

As far as speaking to the people around me, I’d really rather not. I agree it’s probably the most productive long-term solution and if it was only one house I probably would, but trekking round the neighbour hood asking folks to turn their lights off might make me appear as a weirdo.

The observing shroud with sewn in magnets sounds a good idea. I’m sure the Orion one is over-priced since it’s basically a bit of cloth for £16 but if it works then I don’t mind. A home made one could be sewn into a hat at the other end I suppose, making it nice and enclosed. Maybe this idea has some mileage to it...

I’m glad to hear the dew shield has worked to you jahmanson, that’s encouraging. The one I was looking at was a ‘Kendrick Standard Dew Shield’ – it too is felt lined but I don’t know how long it is.

Thanks all for your advice.


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