Author Topic: Questions about light pollution  (Read 573 times)

stalafovkith

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2018, 02:30:29 PM »
Quote
<p class="citation">Quote

I actually don't think that usage of LED's will dramatically worsen LP.
Wrong. I used to live in a small village, where the municipality installed four on the local town square. Those four, and they weren't even particularly powerful ones, were worse than all the sodium lamps in the village combined. And I didn't even have direct line of sight to them. The glare was extremely much worse, than from the sodium lamps, and both LEDs and sodium lamps were full-cutoff designs. To say I was disappointed in this is an understatement.

Several Danish amateurs have had their backyard observatories almost completely ruined by LEDs causing a massive increase in diffuse light. One just gave his observatory up completely, tore it down, and is now only imaging with a mobile rig.Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark[/quote]
That sounds very sad  But I think that they seemed much worse because they were concetrated at one place. Looks like it would be really hard in future to find a stable bortle 4-5 sky

statfuncteeci

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2018, 03:45:35 PM »
Quote
Looks like it would be really hard in future to find a stable bortle 4-5 sky
It will only be hard if you MUST live close to major populations. There will still be vast tracts of land with dark skies, but they will be sparsely populated and often have a harsh climate.Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Anton Balderrama

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2018, 11:47:30 PM »
"Can I find a house that will stay in the same bortle sky scale class for at least 20 years. "

That is pretty near impossible; as you cannot control the land usage around your home for 1 year, let alone 20 years!

calfkommomu

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2018, 03:31:43 AM »
I believe Prince William County, Virginia passed lighting ordinances years ago. I vaguely remember doing the research back in 2006. Nonetheless, the light pollution is considerably worse now than it was when I bought my house and first started observing here in 2005. The suburbs are growing by leaps and bounds and there appears to be no let up. Every new housing development, every new shopping center, every new stadium or park adds to the problem.

Today I heard an add on the radio asking whether or not listeners had the right video surveillance camera for their floodlights. That's what we are up against. Some just think implicitly that we all have floodlights.

neulosali

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2018, 12:20:46 AM »
Actually... I think if you lived near mountains or deserts this would be an inherent limiting factor on the buildup of civilization. These places are not prime real estate, and are among the last places a big city is likely to sprout up. Coincidentally they are also very popular areas for observatories.

lodersconsharp

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2018, 01:49:08 AM »
Quote
"Can I find a house that will stay in the same bortle sky scale class for at least 20 years. "

That is pretty near impossible; as you cannot control the land usage around your home for 1 year, let alone 20 years!

Thank for answer.

Given that we cannot maintain the same bortle class in a loaction is there a hope that I can find a house that at least stays reasonibliy dark through a long time period? Astrojensen mentioned that we can but the question is by how much the bortle rating will increase?

Quote
<p class="citation">Quote

Looks like it would be really hard in future to find a stable bortle 4-5 sky
It will only be hard if you MUST live close to major populations. There will still be vast tracts of land with dark skies, but they will be sparsely populated and often have a harsh climate.Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark[/quote]
Thank you for answer.

<p class="citation">JHollJr, on 23 Jun 2017 - 9:02 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7955749" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="JHollJr" data-cid="7955749" data-time="1498244533">

I believe Prince William County, Virginia passed lighting ordinances years ago. I vaguely remember doing the research back in 2006. Nonetheless, the light pollution is considerably worse now than it was when I bought my house and first started observing here in 2005. The suburbs are growing by leaps and bounds and there appears to be no let up. Every new housing development, every new shopping center, every new stadium or park adds to the problem.

Today I heard an add on the radio asking whether or not listeners had the right video surveillance camera for their floodlights. That's what we are up against. Some just think implicitly that we all have floodlights.

[/quote]
Thanks for answer. I guess it is almost guaranteed to end up with brighter sky if you live in suburbs of a dynamic city. I'll hope that Istanbul wont devolop much in 5 years.

Phil Barela

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2018, 03:52:00 AM »
In response:

- Can I find a house that will stay in the same bortle sky scale class for at least 20 years.

Your region may be developing in a rather different manner than some other parts of the world, but in general the answer to the question would be a resounding NO. When I moved to my current home many years ago I was assured that it would never see major population growth. At the time it was largely farm land and thinly populated, the population actually having declined in the previous 30 years. What non-farm residents living in the area were mainly doing was commuting to a major city area nearly 100 miles away. This was regarded as just too far for most commuter folks at the time to travel for work. There was only a single incandescent streetlight as a permanent outdoor light source within one mile of my home! Back then my skies were Bortle class 0-1 and spectacular almost beyond imagination by today's hobby standards.

Some twenty years later the area's population had doubled and is today still growing, housing developments had begun springing up and people were now moving in even 30 and 40 miles further out from the distant city! My skies had by then declined to a Bortle class 4. Today I'm down to a class 5-6 sky, every bit as bad as skies were just 15 miles outside the distant major city back in 1970!

- Will a couple floodlights nearby contribute a significant amount to overall sky glow even if you don't see them directly? When I have moved to a rural area should I be worried about lights nearby even if I dont see them directly.( No light trespass)?

Existing exterior lights, even if not direct toward you, will scatter some light.

- Is this whole thing about LP that bad as it is stated in forums? This subforum made me extremely pessimistic about future of my hobby.

Viewing the situation as someone who has been in the hobby since the 1950's I have to answer, "Yes, it is", at least for the United States, Japan, most of Europe and some other places. Elsewhere remote locations may prove somewhat different. There are even a few areas uniquely positioned today where it will likely remain viably dark for some time into the future for hobbyists willing to drive for a few hours to reach dark skies, but they are a decided exception and will steadily dwindle in the future. Likewise, new regions of unexpected development surface over time, like gas fracking wells in previously very dark areas of the United States. No one ever dreamed of these twenty years ago. You just never know exactly what to expect. So the hobby's longevity is something of a gamble for most of us, I'm afraid.

BrooksObs

ocgisfulctel

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2018, 09:57:42 AM »
Quote
In response:

- Can I find a house that will stay in the same bortle sky scale class for at least 20 years.

Your region may be developing in a rather different manner than some other parts of the world, but in general the answer to the question would be a resounding NO. When I moved to my current home many years ago I was assured that it would never see major population growth. At the time it was largely farm land and thinly populated, the population actually having declined in the previous 30 years. What non-farm residents living in the area were mainly doing was commuting to a major city area nearly 100 miles away. This was regarded as just too far for most commuter folks at the time to travel for work. There was only a single incandescent streetlight as a permanent outdoor light source within one mile of my home! Back then my skies were Bortle class 0-1 and spectacular almost beyond imagination by today's hobby standards.

Some twenty years later the area's population had doubled and is today still growing, housing developments had begun springing up and people were now moving in even 30 and 40 miles further out from the distant city! My skies had by then declined to a Bortle class 4. Today I'm down to a class 5-6 sky, every bit as bad as skies were just 15 miles outside the distant major city back in 1970!

- Will a couple floodlights nearby contribute a significant amount to overall sky glow even if you don't see them directly? When I have moved to a rural area should I be worried about lights nearby even if I dont see them directly.( No light trespass)?

Existing exterior lights, even if not direct toward you, will scatter some light.

- Is this whole thing about LP that bad as it is stated in forums? This subforum made me extremely pessimistic about future of my hobby.

Viewing the situation as someone who has been in the hobby since the 1950's I have to answer, "Yes, it is", at least for the United States, Japan, most of Europe and some other places. Elsewhere remote locations may prove somewhat different. There are even a few areas uniquely positioned today where it will likely remain viably dark for some time into the future for hobbyists willing to drive for a few hours to reach dark skies, but they are a decided exception and will steadily dwindle in the future. Likewise, new regions of unexpected development surface over time, like gas fracking wells in previously very dark areas of the United States. No one ever dreamed of these twenty years ago. You just never know exactly what to expect. So the hobby's longevity is something of a gamble for most of us, I'm afraid.

BrooksObs

Thank you for posting your experiences. Although Bortle 5-6 isn't particularly bad for me, compared to Bortle 1 it is of course awful. My thought is that world will never experience such a population boom as in 1960s and 1970s. Population growth rate has declined by factor of 2 or 3 since 1960s and it may be a factor that will slow dramatical LP increase.

Duane Berhane

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2018, 12:50:07 PM »
Quote
Quote

In response:

(big snip)

BrooksObs

Thank you for posting your experiences. Although Bortle 5-6 isn't particularly bad for me, compared to Bortle 1 it is of course awful. My thought is that world will never experience such a population boom as in 1960s and 1970s. Population growth rate has declined by factor of 2 or 3 since 1960s and it may be a factor that will slow dramatical LP increase.

Actually, it has been population migration/shift, rather than actual population growth, that has largely been the problem, i.e. flight from the expensive and densely populated urban areas.

In the 1990's mortgages were very easy to get in the United States, as well as in many other developed countries. Many folks took advantage of this and moved to the countryside. Likewise, prices of the nicer homes close to commuter-favored locations, together with taxes on them, skyrocketed beyond the financial range of middle class families, forcing them to move ever further out from the cities themselves. This is why my region, situated about 100 miles from NYC, saw explosive growth in its population, tripling or even quadtrupling over the last generation, or so!

Such situations abounded throughout the world before the Financial Crash of '08 in major centers of populations. I fully anticipate that it will occur for Istanbul and other large cities in your country - particularly given the very large influx of new population to your country from other areas of the Middle East as documented in the news - once time progresses and full financial stability returns across the globe.

BrooksObs

schorerabhat

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2018, 01:57:44 PM »
Ironically after discussing bad progress of LP, yesterday was best night in my observation site since 2013. I can't belieave this but I have managed to see Milky Way from İstanbul! Surely, it was very faint and washed but still I managed to spot it near Deneb. I guess this puts me in Bortle 6 class. Limting mag was around 4.8-5.

And yes, Istanbul is dramatically expanding since 1960s.And it is still expanding. One thing that is good for Istanbul that most of the city is a bit poor. So for now there arent any main pollutors besides LPS or HPS lamps. Although they opened a few shopping centers with that annoying blinking Led lights directed to the sky the LP in city is still bearable. It will surely change in 10 years or so. My father who lived entire 1980s and 1990s in Istanbul says that he and his firends often saw Milky Way from Bosphorus. Now it is even hard to see a couple of stars from that places. I am sure that the site that I am now observing(suburbs of Istanbul) was green or blue zone back then. But still there are plenty of Bortle 1 zones in Turkey.

The only option left is not to live near ANY city. I think this is only way to have dark skies at home for many years. Surely I cannot control all floodlights near me but at least sky will remain reasonbly dark as main pollutor is city itself not a few extra floodlights. Also do you think living or at least having a reserved house in IDA community towns would be a good choice?

Matt Victorin

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2018, 04:42:47 PM »
Quote
Quote

I actually don't think that usage of LED's will dramatically worsen LP. Yes, they can scatter more in atmosphere but they are much more directional than LPS or HPS. You can look at an example in Europe. Milan replaced 100.000 lamps to LED in 2015 and if we look at LP maps there was no significant increase in LP from 2013 to 2017. Also there was a study I read in forum couple days ago from US Electricy Dep. stated that LEDs are not too bad.

By the way thanks for the answers. I will try to reply to them ASAP:

LEDs have the potential to reduce light pollution if the light fixtures using them are well engineered and installed properly. Unfortunately, that is not happening where I live. Quite the opposite, most of the new fixtures being installed in my neighborhood have been high-intensity 5000K glare bombs. Unless local governments start passing lighting codes that prohibit these types of installations, the night sky will be completely lost.
....but remember..... any LED streetlight can be easily turned down in brightness with no change in equipment. It is a quick adjustment - and just needs to be ordered. .....And that's why we still need anti-LP laws.

Jorge Herbert

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2018, 09:45:05 PM »
Quote
........

- Can I find a house that will stay in the same bortle sky scale class for at least 20 years.

- Will a couple floodlights nearby contribute a significant amount to overall sky glow even if you don't see them directly? When I have moved to a rural area should I be worried about lights nearby even if I dont see them directly.( No light trespass)?

- Is this whole thing about LP that bad as it is stated in forums? This subforum made me extremely pessimistic about future of my hobby.

I certainly rent a 3-season (did have a 4 season) home in New York's Adirondack Mountains - a "Park" defined 125 years agoin an Article in the NY State Constitution covering about a third of New York, with only very limited development allowed (currently the population is declining, and has been for about 10 years - population density is similar to Alaska).Within a50 mile circle there are maybe a dozen street lights, probably fewer - plenty of bears and moose.I often get Sky Quality Meter readings of 21.75 magnitude/sq-arc-second - which is dark enough to qualify as a 'gray zone' or darker. Clouds look like black spots - darker than the sky, and M-33 is naked eye. There are two other such Parks in New York, covering about 50% of the state in total, and I doubt that LP will ever get worse in them, or other NY rural areas away from the few big cities. On the other hand - winter features 3 foot snow falls,and temps often down to -25 F.The area features rugged mountains and endless deep forest, making finding an open sky area difficult. It is a 90 minute drive to the nearest hospital (or store that sells shoes for that matter - but there's always Amazon). Oh, and no cell phone coverage less than anhour's drive away - longer in most directions.If you have a health emergency, like a heart attack, or the bear bits you - you are dead.

A few bright lights out of direct sight in a dark area are pretty much a non-issue. At my southern NY home I have a street light about a quarter mile away, but it is below my level (I live up the mountain) and blocked by trees. I never notice it.

Yes, LP is a major issue.

Bottom line: With a few exceptions (Cuba, North Korea) you need to get away from people to find dark sky. It may be difficult to find a job ( if you are an MD or a school teacher, we need you in rural NY - ski instructors, tow-lift mechanics,and white water canoe experts are also jobsin demand- not much need for bankers or tech types).

omunsopoo

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2018, 08:38:24 PM »
To the OP, I image from a near-white zone (urban) . It's not ideal, but I'm not a professional Astrophotographer or professional astrophysicist.

It's not the end of the world to be in a red zone. Not ideal, but not the end of the world. Far more ideal than my situation. And yet even though I'm in a poor LP area, it's the weather, my available time, and money that are the largest issues I face as a hobbiest.

Will you be able to buy a house somewhere where the LP remains constant for 20 years, and you still have access to a majority of the conveniences of modernity? Possibly. I think that's more of a lucky thing. The more poplar an area is, the more likely it will become more light polluted.

bankrybettdog

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Re: Questions about light pollution
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2018, 06:08:30 AM »
I think one way to be certain that the Bortle class will stay the same is to move somewhere extremely bad now. Ah, who knows, it may get better; I hope so.

One of my responses to this, as well as frequent nightly fog, was to increase my emphasis on viewing the Sun, Mercury and Venus (in daytime), and the Moon. This has its own challenges, but it makes my light pollution problem completely irrelevant.

For photography, I have put tremendous effort into post-processing to cancel out the effects of light pollution. In the last two years, I've imaged 43 Messier objects and several other DSOs from the heart of my white zone. Most of these, I have never seen through the eyepiece, but in many cases, the photo comes out quite clear, which is a nice surprise when the object was totally invisible to my eye. My one journey to a dark site required 6.5 hours for me to get photos of two objects. For me, personally, I think I got more out of photographing ~50 objects recognizably than I would out of several nightlong journeys to photograph a few. But perhaps in the next year, I'll have different priorities.