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Just fancied a moan!


spaceboy
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I went out last night and struggled to even make out the constellations. The light Grey sky kept going orange when patchy cloud came over. The two st lights 10ft from the back garden have now been fixed so at least I can thread needles while I'm waiting for the orange sky to turn grey again :) Every evening I look out to see if there is any cloud and from ground level to around 10-15 degrees is a haze of smog, 15 -25 there is always a glow of orange and 25-zenith is the occasional twinkle from a -0 mag star amongst the grey sky, that is when we on the off chance have clear skies! I have had enough of it now and I'm seriously contemplating that I would be better cutting my losses and giving up. I have since September been able to observe probably 20 times. Jupiter has already been and gone. Orion is already starting to sit low in the sky and now the clocks going forward means we have to sit up even later to get a look in. The chances I did get to go to dark sites hasn't helped as it's like having a huge 50" 1080p plasma and then coming home to a 14" B&W without remote control. I no longer see the point in all the hassle setting up to look at a grey skies. I feel it a great disappointment that there is such a blatant waste of energy and money due to the poor use of street lighting and as a result it has robbed ever one of the night skies. Whether your an astronomer or not why would you want to look up at orange skies all the time. Out late at night looking at a couple of stars I tend to notice 5000watt security lights just coming on at the slightest breeze. People with porch lights who forget where the off switch is. Don't get me wrong I'm all for st lights if they offer any real benefit but lights to advertise bill boards at 3 in the morning:icon_confused: New apartment blocks with fancy lights so the yuppies can find there ways home after a night out at the opera. And what's the story with Xmas lights? Houses plastered from roof to ground and half way down the garden :D I can't be the only person sick of seeing so much light pollution. There should be a law against it. You couldn't go in the garden and start burning old tyres but you could put up soccer stadium lighting to radiate your collection of gnomes. It's all pollution of one sort or another. I don't understand why the government allowed poor lighting in the first place ? I wonder how many people tried astronomy and gave up when they realized there's no stemming the onslaught of forever more wasteful lighting. All the waiting for clear skies and all for what?? I don't deny that some times, by some freak of nature I have it so good that a faint smear of the milky way can be just made out but for the majority of the time it's a depressing dirty orange glow and plenty of gear going to waste.

SPACEBOY

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Maybe the powers that be don't want us to look up, to know there is something 'else' that might be uplifting - I think they would rather that we kept looking down, keeping our chins on that grind stone. I do know what you mean about the invasion of light. I live by a park, and I can remember a time when you rarely heard the chirping of birds, owls etc yes but not your average garden chirping. Now, if you were to shut your eyes you would be hard pressed to know whether it was day or night. In recent times there has been a fetishism for garden lighting, lights for the driveway and the new craze for illuminating churches (...manuscripts yes but not church guttering) or maybe its a security initiative for protecting the lead!

Spaceboy, although light pollution is clearly a problem, I would guess that weather (...read cloud pollution) is probably a more contributing factor in your disenchantment with astronomy of which lighting is the final straw. I've given up observing from the garden and now see astronomy like fishing, in that you need to go somewhere else to do it. Even our society's dome has been overtaken taken by light from new housing developments, a new 24 hr veterinary clinic etc. For me I equate observing with driving to a dark site. This is not all bad because whilst in the countryside you can talk, slurp your tea, slew the mount around at any speed (..and therefore noise) pack the kit up without feeling you have to tip toe around in your own garden. However, bad weather stuffs the whole lot into the long grass and there is no remedy. I do find that if you observe at home, this generally means you observe alone, if you have to go out there is more of an inclination to meet up with other observers which keeps the interest and motivation going. Hang on in there, and remind yourself of the discoveries and pleasures that you have had when observing because that will help you overcome current disappointments.

James

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I don't care what anybody says, nothing is going to put me off. My whole life I've been fascinated by Science, Technology and Outer Space.

A few cloudy nights and a faint orange glow will never be enough to stop me setting up every night.

The things I've discovered this year have made the effort 200% justified.

To now be able to recognise constellations, explore the craters and mountains on the moon, realise double stars, view the awe dropping sight of the Orion Nebula gives me the drive to continue stargazing every night.

I never imagined I would see these sights myself through my own scope.

The fact is the UK is where it is, I can't change that.

If its cloudy, my times well spent reading astronomy magazines, books and facts on the web.

When the weather does finally clear, hopefully I've learnt a bit more about the Universe to help me locate and understand what I'm observing.

Don't give up, don't let the negatives stop you, when the positives can give so much pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction.

Finally, what an amazing hobby, the only regret I have is not getting started in Astronomy earlier in my life.

Edited by tibbs1972
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The fact is the UK is where it is, I can't change that, who cares.

If its cloudy, my times well spent reading astronomy magazines, books and facts on the web.

When the weather does finally clear, hopefully I've learnt a bit more about the Universe to help me locate and understand what I'm observing.

Don't give up, don't let the negatives stop you, when the positives can give so much pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction.

Finally, what an amazing hobby, the only regret I have is not getting started in Astronomy earlier in my life.

Great attitude:headbang:

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I know what you mean. I'm pretty much restricted to solar system and bright clusters. I've started checking sunspots to make the most out of what I can do, whereas when I started I was only interested in finding new DSO's. Think I will start doing more lunar stuff too. It is very frustrating but am too addicted to give up.

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Maybe the powers that be don't want us to look up, to know there is something 'else' that might be uplifting - I think they would rather that we kept looking down, keeping our chins on that grind stone. I do know what you mean about the invasion of light. I live by a park, and I can remember a time when you rarely heard the chirping of birds, owls etc yes but not your average garden chirping. Now, if you were to shut your eyes you would be hard pressed to know whether it was day or night. In recent times there has been a fetishism for garden lighting, lights for the driveway and the new craze for illuminating churches (...manuscripts yes but not church guttering) or maybe its a security initiative for protecting the lead!

Spaceboy, although light pollution is clearly a problem, I would guess that weather (...read cloud pollution) is probably a more contributing factor in your disenchantment with astronomy of which lighting is the final straw. I've given up observing from the garden and now see astronomy like fishing, in that you need to go somewhere else to do it. Even our society's dome has been overtaken taken by light from new housing developments, a new 24 hr veterinary clinic etc. For me I equate observing with driving to a dark site. This is not all bad because whilst in the countryside you can talk, slurp your tea, slew the mount around at any speed (..and therefore noise) pack the kit up without feeling you have to tip toe around in your own garden. However, bad weather stuffs the whole lot into the long grass and there is no remedy. I do find that if you observe at home, this generally means you observe alone, if you have to go out there is more of an inclination to meet up with other observers which keeps the interest and motivation going. Hang on in there, and remind yourself of the discoveries and pleasures that you have had when observing because that will help you overcome current disappointments.

James

Very moving post James. Almost brought a tear to my eye.:) Good points you make about treating it like fishing and I had never thought of it that way. Only trouble is, when I did fish I could only go on weekends of for an hr during the week. When I was there I never caught a dam thing. (similar with clouds & astronomy) And I was forever looking over my shoulder in case some little ASBO ****** and his buddies wanted to take up fishing with my gear. I just see it as there is no way the situation is going to get better. It can only get worse! More bill boards are going up all the time. More housing developments, more security lights, more inefficient st lights and so on. I live 3 mile from Birmingham University and they have now built out door 5 a side pitches which are lit so well you really could find the needle in a haystack. Great for them I'm sure but for me the glow is evident right up to 23:00 when they finally turn the dam things off. Of course Selly oaks new super hospital then takes over on the light every part of a 1/2 mile radius including up wards. The way I look at is at one point you could see the milkyway anywhere in the UK. Slowly over time more and more lighting is being used and less and less sky is visible. The less visible, the less chance you will have of new astronomers joining ranks and keeping LP to a minimum. I just see it coming to a point when you are going to need a pair of binoculars to see the constellations. A developing country dose just that, develops! There will never be a restriction on lighting or a use of it by the public. Even if things work out for turning st lights off during certain hrs you can bet Joe public will be down B&Q buying 500w security lights for every corner of the house pointing them across the garden and driveways with no concerns where the light illuminates beyond his boarders. I can't see how it is good for a persons health to never relate properly to night time. You can have a full eclipse during the hight of summer and all the birds stop chirping and nod off thinking it's night already. Surly we must have a similar feel for night and day as we spent most of evolution having no alternative but to sleep or star gaze at night :)

I don't care what anybody says, nothing is going to put me off. My whole life I've been fascinated by Science, Technology and Outer Space.

A few cloudy nights and a faint orange glow will never be enough to stop me setting up every night.

The things I've discovered this year have made the effort 200% justified.

To now be able to recognise constellations, explore the craters and mountains on the moon, realise double stars, view the awe dropping sight of the Orion Nebulae gives me the drive to continue stargazing every night.

I never imagined I would see these sights myself through my own scope.

The fact is the UK is where it is, I can't change that, who cares.

If its cloudy, my times well spent reading astronomy magazines, books and facts on the web.

When the weather does finally clear, hopefully I've learnt a bit more about the Universe to help me locate and understand what I'm observing.

Don't give up, don't let the negatives stop you, when the positives can give so much pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction.

Finally, what an amazing hobby, the only regret I have is not getting started in Astronomy earlier in my life.

I didn't really have any concerns when I was starting out as I was happy just to see the craters on the moon and to be able to say I'd seen the bands of Jupiter and some clusters. But as you progress you want to see more of the sky and frankly even though it's there you can't see it half the time. I so wish I hadn't gone to dark skies as ignorance was bliss. Even the simplest of things like clusters look totally different. Galaxies take on shape and globulars divide in to individual stars with direct vision. I'm now feel like a greedy kid wanting the all the cake.

I know a lot of it is down to frustration at the endless nights of cloud and those nights when it is clear I have to put up will LP washed skies or poor seeing. Out of the 20 times I have been observing the past 6 months I would say 5 nights were memorable even under my skies. To place x600+ magnification on Saturn was a Kodak moment. And an all nighter viewing globulars also has me thinking how much I enjoy the hobby. It's these nights that keep me holding on to the idea they might happen again.

I do like to have a good winge to get things off my chest in the hope it hits the reset button and life can get back to the bed of roses it is. I think the Brits are considered around the world as a nation of moaners, I wonder where they got that idea from :D

Edited by spaceboy
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I just moved house recently. My old site had airport and motorway lights to the west, a factory to the north, my house to the south and my neighbours dratted security lights to the east.

I thought that the new house was a dream as it lacks all of these things, but there is still this ubiquitous orange glow that pervades the sky up to 30 degrees, plus a few security lights. It is VERY annoying and I am happy to join the moan thread. Luckily my local council are about to start saving money and streetlights are due to be killed off in the near future (yay!) so some of the skyglow should disappear. Now I just need to find a way of doing away with security lights... (that is legal).

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Options:

Constructive moan - take it to the CfDS

Proactive moan - use an air rifle to deal with the offending streetlights

Apathetic moan - just keep moaning on SGL

Hopeful moan - take your complaint to your local council.

Proactive comes to mind along with hopeful. With such close proximate st lighting I did consider as there is only a jubilee clip holding the cover to the timer access on the st light I would have a go at adjusting the on/off times. Thinking this may be illegal I considered getting in touch with the council to see if they would do this if a good enough argument was in place. Trouble will be if I point out the offending lights and the council do nothing about it should the st lights in mention suddenly go off between 20:00 to 02:00 they will be knocking on my door and I'm left with apathetic moan. Granted on the larger scale of things turning off 2 st lights is hardly going to make a difference but at least I will be able to achieve some dark adaption.

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After My move, my sky is not as good as it was before.

I have a few more street lights, which I can position my self to block most of them, My neighbour has a paranoia light which shines straight across the back of my house, and i have set it of when setting up, but when im sat at the pc i get no problems.

As for dobbing, well the side patio where i use it is in all fairness the worse spot i could, I really need to go to the other side of my garage to use it, but them i totally lose South West.

Overall its not to bad, it could be better, but i wont be in this house for to many years (hopfully long than 6 months in my last one mind you).

If things go as I plan the next house will be a car drive away from town, but I have lots of work to do to get to that point :D

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Reading all of the posts in this thread about moaning makes me feel rather privileged to actually live in Crewe (for once :D) as the light pollution here isn't nearly as bad as other places in the UK. At least I can see down to mag 4.5 on a good night and maybe more if the sky is super transparent, m31 is just about visible and the milky way can be seen at the zenith. The views I can get are good when using the 8", there is still some intruding light pollution from the floodlights at the Cumberland Sports ground and the local street lighting (nothing directly overlooking my back garden though).

(Smug mode off)

But seriously though the light pollution in this country is generally very bad is sadly only going to get worse unless the government or local councils put their foot down on inappropriate lighting, on public buildings/highways or on private land. They don't seem to have clocked on yet that reducing light pollution will save everyone money in the long term and reduce carbon emissions as energy is not being wasted by being thrown straight up into the sky.

RE Spaceboy; I feel for you mate, it sounds like things are really against you when you're observing and I realise it can be quite annoying and stressful that you have to drive miles into the countryside, at your time and expense, just get a half decent view of the night sky, it is shameful :)

I hope you stick in there and continue observing, you seemed to have mainly enjoyed it over the past couple of months going on your other posts and it would be a shame for you to pack it all in because of light pollution.

There must be a way for you to continue enjoying observing and good luck on you finding it :)

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