Author Topic: Observing in the glow of the big city and bright suburbs  (Read 745 times)

Eric Ayyagari

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Re: Observing in the glow of the big city and bright suburbs
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2018, 03:44:16 AM »
Unless you go to photography, nothing is going to help much. Filters and shielding yourself from lights in the immediate area help a bit, but not much. You have to drive to a dark site.

Jesse Kaine

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Re: Observing in the glow of the big city and bright suburbs
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2018, 04:48:12 AM »
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Unless you go to photography, nothing is going to help much. Filters and shielding yourself from lights in the immediate area help a bit, but not much. You have to drive to a dark site.

A shield to block out bright ambient light works wonders, even though the sky glow itself doesn't change. Start with something simple and cheap, learn from it, improve on it. Most people can't get to a dark site more than a once or twice a month, weather permitting. Being able to observe from home is useful.

grafpievimel

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Re: Observing in the glow of the big city and bright suburbs
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2018, 01:25:23 PM »
Try viewing in Las Vegas, my second home town. A few years ago, we stepped out on a balcony on a hotel on the strip. We could see Jupiter--naked eye, and that was all. For visual viewing, you can try various filters, but I have found that about all one can see well are the planets, moon, some bright globulars and some double stars. You just have to get out to a dark sky site to enjoy this hobby. Mag 5+ skies will also show a lot. I have a Mag 5 sky about 22 miles from where I live. I have to drive about 90 miles from my home in San Antonio for better than Mag 6 skies. It is difficult for me to get out to the dark sites. I do not know if those new electronic eyepieces do better in light polluted skies.

adlamontma

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Re: Observing in the glow of the big city and bright suburbs
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2018, 03:08:59 PM »
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Unless you go to photography, nothing is going to help much. Filters and shielding yourself from lights in the immediate area help a bit, but not much. You have to drive to a dark site.

A shield to block out bright ambient light works wonders, even though the sky glow itself doesn't change. Start with something simple and cheap, learn from it, improve on it. Most people can't get to a dark site more than a once or twice a month, weather permitting. Being able to observe from home is useful.
Sure its useful, but if you can't see DSO currently, there isn't much you can do to change that. Local lighting conditions can be annoying but unless you have an extreme situation, nothing is going to do much to improve conditions. In a white zone, I can turn on my porch light and see everything I can see without it. A bit more contrast, but nothing too crazy. Similar to a filter - which is also pretty ineffective.

tailipoma

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Re: Observing in the glow of the big city and bright suburbs
« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2018, 10:34:03 PM »
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I read that the best way to deal with LEDs is a gallon of gas and a telescope that will fit in the car.   Well, in my case it might be 2-3 gallons but clearly going to a darker site helps. In about 40 minutes I can get to a dark red area ( www.dark site finder.com) If I travel 2 hours, about 100 miles I can get to a light yellow area. Aside from these still not being all that dark, they are not oing to work for a casual night's 1 hour observing session.
My answer is to drive for 5 to 15 minutes rather than 40. Driving 5 minutes doesn't change the skyglow at all, and driving 15 only makes a moderate difference. But in both cases, I end up in parks that have no lights overhead. I am perfectly willing to deal with skyglow, but not with direct glare.

Out of a 1-hour observing session, a "tax" of driving (or bicycling) 5 minutes there and another 5 minutes back is perfectly acceptable -- for me, anyway.

Nathan Mayienda

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Re: Observing in the glow of the big city and bright suburbs
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2018, 09:00:39 PM »
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Unless you go to photography, nothing is going to help much. Filters and shielding yourself from lights in the immediate area help a bit, but not much. You have to drive to a dark site.

A shield to block out bright ambient light works wonders, even though the sky glow itself doesn't change. Start with something simple and cheap, learn from it, improve on it. Most people can't get to a dark site more than a once or twice a month, weather permitting. Being able to observe from home is useful.
Sure its useful, but if you can't see DSO currently, there isn't much you can do to change that. Local lighting conditions can be annoying but unless you have an extreme situation, nothing is going to do much to improve conditions. In a white zone, I can turn on my porch light and see everything I can see without it. A bit more contrast, but nothing too crazy. Similar to a filter - which is also pretty ineffective.
After a half hour or so using my tarps, the area outside the tarps looks like daylight. I can see more with the tarps and the subjective experience of being in a relatively dark zone instead of being relentlessly soaked with LED or CFL light is worth the trouble.

ovhercayvic

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Re: Observing in the glow of the big city and bright suburbs
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2018, 08:06:20 AM »
aeajr, looking at the distances you have to drive for getting even a little darker skies is astounding. I'm sitting in a bright red zone, third most LP. Think it's good to at some occasions go as dark as possible, and then somewhere middle way, just for getting the range. Dark green is in my reach, but the main reason I went there, with a 70 minutes drive, was to see the Milky Way. Wouldn't feel comfortable going there when the snow falls, slippery roads, out in sub zero, don't even know where the nearest inhabited house is. The border of dark brown/yellow is still 45 minutes away, may not in the long run be prepared to go there often for my one hour sessions.

Observing frequently I think is key. You should be able to look out the window, finding the clouds aren't filling the entire sky, and go out. Look at the constellations changing. The moon. How about solar observing, tried it? Just look at the multitude of stars you can see with your telescope or binoculars, let's take the Cygnus area. Each of those are worlds. I think this is about setting one's mind more than anything else,