Jump to content


Photo

Should I get a telescope for these light pollution

  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#26 svdwal

svdwal

    Vendor (mBrain Software)

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 159
  • Joined: 10 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Leiden, The Netherlands

Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:39 AM

I live in The Netherlands, and that is even worse than South Korea, if the light pollution map is to believed. There are a couple of things that work for me.

- try taking short astronomy holidays or long weekends during the new moon, and during those seasons the weather is generally good. Plan to do all-nighters. This does mean you need to be proficient with your gear, so plan to do a lot of observing under less than ideal conditions to get as much experience as possible.

- yellow zones are not too bad for galaxy work. In my experience the brighter ones are quite nice then. The trick is: high magnification. And that means, a big scope, 8". Low magnification won't be very good, but you need the light for high magnifications.

- get yourself a good set of filters. OIII shows the Veil rather nicely in my 12 inch ad the edge of a red zone. CLS does help a bit to reduce light pollution. It won't make a red zone a blue one, but there's just that bit of extra contrast.

-plan your objects. Some galaxies are just a featureless blob during the best of conditions, observe those close to the city.

#27 AcesDJD

AcesDJD

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2013

Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:38 AM

Photowriter, thank you for the map, that's the best I've seen. Looks like Gwacheon is in the white zone and you are in the red zone :(

I was looking at the US map and I've lived in some areas that are green zones, and they weren't very impressive with the naked eye anyway. The main difference between them and Korea is you could see a lot more stars near the horizon.

I didn't realize you were Korean, your english is very good. So I think the main thing I'd like to ask you is do you observe in Suwon at all and what telescope do you use?

#28 AcesDJD

AcesDJD

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2013

Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:41 AM

svdwal, thanks for your tips I'm definitely thinking of astronomy holidays. While Korea probably has more green zones than the netherlands has due to mountain areas, the area photowriter and I live is all white or red. It looks like it's two hours just to get into an orange zone. Do you think 8" is big enough?

#29 Illinois

Illinois

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2155
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2006
  • Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA

Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:44 AM

I used C8 years ago and I see many Messier and NGC objects. Juipter, Saturn and Mars look good. Moon is great with moon filter. C11 is better but you seem use for travel and worry about weight then I think 8 inch is good! If you don't care about weight and size then go for C11. Remember that get large scope if you csn because you don't have to look back. Like if you have C8 and maybe you tell yourself that you should have C11. You see that I used 80mm and 100mm refractor AND I don't use it anymore because I have 127mm refractor. I have 3 telescopes that so far I am happy! 127mm refractor, 180mm Mak-cass and 16 inch Dobsonian. I even think about 20 inch dobsonian but forget it. I am happy with my 3 scopes now.
Yellow and green zone is good for where I live in Illinois. Blue is great but small area. If you can see milky way easily then you can see all Messier and many NGC objects!

#30 AcesDJD

AcesDJD

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2013

Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:04 AM

An ebay ad claims the whole C8 setup is less than 40lbs is that right? If so I think I'll stop my dithering and just go for it, that's too big a weight difference from the big apertures.

#31 AcesDJD

AcesDJD

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2013

Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:24 AM

Just in case anyone's following the thread, I wanted to add that I goofed earlier on the map I was looking at. I didn't realize I could zoom in at first and I wildly messed up the color zones where I used to live. The best conditions I've ever lived under would be orange which is probably why I've never seen the milky way until now.

The exact sky I'm under is just in the gray zone, so slightly better than white but not much I'm guessing. Anywho, I think a somewhat lighter telescope and some trips to at least a yellow zone is what I'm leaning towards.

#32 svdwal

svdwal

    Vendor (mBrain Software)

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 159
  • Joined: 10 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Leiden, The Netherlands

Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:01 PM

I have a C8 for use on my balkony, and for that it works fine, if you pick the right objects. It is also easy to take with me on a trip. I have seen Stephans Quintet with it in the (very dark) Alps at 2000 meter.

On the map above it appears that my local observing spot is also on the edge of a red zone. Still, we can see the Cygnus Star Cloud. In the yellow zone it is possible to see the spiral arms in M51. In the green zone's in Germany and Northen France the sky is very good with SQM-L measurements of 21.4.

#33 photowriter

photowriter

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 04 Sep 2013
  • Loc: San Jose, CA

Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:26 PM

AcesDJD,

Suwon also positioned inside White zone. I live in Yeongtong-gu in Suwon, where is maybe most populated place in Suwon. So, IMO the sky condition is same to Gwacheon.

Actually, I've usually observed in Yongin Football Center for the closeness. Attachment was took at Yongin FC one and half week ago. (Sorry for the terrible quality of the photo. I do eye observing not AP. :) ) Yongin FC shows orange color in the Map. Yangpyeong has Yellow color label in the LP map. I'd used 10" Dobsonian before I sold to move to US(San Jose, CA). I observe with 10x50 Bino currently.

I'd tried a few deep sky objects with 10" dob, but that wasn't impressive to me. Objects(e.g M31, M13, M45 etc) look faintly and blurry.

I do not know how bad Netherlands sky is. But Seoul, Gwacheon, and Suwon is at least, terrible to do observing. :(

P.S. If you have plan to buy C8 on ebay, you'd better consider shipping and taxes. Tax for telescope instrument is quite high (as I know it is around 18% + 10%). And for the weight of telescope, shipping price might be over $200.

I recommend that you would better buy telescope (used one) on Astromart (Korean) if you can get any help from Korean friend.

Attached Files



#34 AcesDJD

AcesDJD

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2013

Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:33 PM

Thank you for the picture. Hard to know what the scale is, but looks better than even the best night I had here at 3 am. So do you have a telescope in California now? Are you much happier with the conditions there?

Thank you so much for the link to the Korean site. Yes there's import taxes and shipping is insane. I have a Korean friend to help me here so that won't be a problem. You're really scaring me on observing in Gwacheon now which will have to be my main observation site, but as long as I can get a reasonable price I'm going to give this a shot.

#35 AcesDJD

AcesDJD

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2013

Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:35 PM

Here's a link I've found most helpful if there are any others in a white/gray zone. Essentially galaxies are out of the question or at best they will disappoint, but I found it enlightening to read through.

http://www.cloudynig...3760253/page...

#36 Live_Steam_Mad

Live_Steam_Mad

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 431
  • Joined: 24 Jul 2007
  • Loc: Moss Bank, St.Helens, England

Posted 23 October 2013 - 04:34 PM

I bought a C11 Starbright bare OTA some years ago second hand (it's a year 2000 model from Tasco times) since I was getting sick of my large dob. C11's Star Test was perfect (and I mean that) at 186x (the only eyepiece I had handy at the time). Yet I still have no mount for it.

But what I can tell you is that it is VERY heavy. I am 120 pounds / 55 Kg approx in weight and thinly built and it takes a LOT of effort for me to even lift the thing off the ground (it's stored in my bedroom on the floor in a corner). The OTA weighs 27 pounds (12 Kg) and it is also very large and bulky, a complete pain in the back side to have to lift and deal with. But I am keeping it for now.

Also, the 7" Meade Maksutov Cassegrain that I bought as an OTA second hand (ex-LX50) at the same time from the same person, weighed 10.5Kg and was a fairly long ish tube and had tube rings on it adding another 1Kg, and it felt nearly as bad as my C11 for handling and lifting it, a real chore.

However I recently took the stupid cast iron weight :foreheadslap: out of the back of it and it got 3Kg lighter and now weighs 7.5Kg! :) It's now a complete DELIGHT to lift and handle :D So much more lightweight and manageable. Only slightly heavier than an 8" SCT and only slightly longer. Same diameter tube. Same mirror size and weight! Only the corrector makes it heavier than an 8" SCT. In comparison an 8" SCT OTA is a featherweight at 5Kg and rather shorter!

I can tell you that the Meade 7" Mak (whilst held on a table by hand a few years ago!) looking at M42 Orion Nebula was a heck of a sight! Bright green-blue (no filters used), the color mesmerising, with a LOT of contrast in it and the Stars around that area. I was most impressed. In comparison, my local friend Jon H's 8" ACF doesn't seem to show as much of it, nor anywhere near as much color, in a better sky? (Billinge, St.Helens, rather darker than here at Moss Bank, St.Helens, I live 2 miles from him) :confused:

The C9.25" OTA must be about "perfect". Just enough aperture to start showing stuff really nicely, with low weight of 9Kg and only slightly larger diameter tube than the 7" Meade Mak / 8" SCT, and about the same tube length as the Mak.

Once things get fork + base mounted, weight jumps up tremendously. My local friend Jon H's LX90 8" ACF (which has the most incredible optics I ever saw, 500x is not a problem) is 33 pounds weight (15Kg) without tripod, which strangely I found quite manageable to lift onto it's tripod from starting with it near waist height. In comparison, the LX200 8" is 37 pounds for the old Classic model, and the new model is 46 pounds, but the latter is getting on for the weight of my 20Kg bench drill, which I tried lifting across the patio to a table at waist height to simulate what it would be like to lift the LX200 GPS and it was way too heavy, it pulled on my back very badly.

The LX90 is just so convenient. You put out the tripod, (Jon's is stored outside so it's always got a levelled tripod and cooled optics), plonk the 'scope onto the tripod, plug in the handset with power OFF, power up, check finder aligned and then go for the 2 star alignment. Works great every time. Fair tracking at 250x. Some rubber banding, despite a just about perfect train drives (after Callibrate motors). Pretty good GOTO accuracy. Nicely solid, no vibration problems even when focussing.

In comparison the NexStar 8SE has a tripod weighing 5Kg instead of 10Kg of the LX90 and only 1 fork arm and SCT optics. So stars look like seagulls near the edges apparently, and they say that the whole thing shakes just a little, and especially when focussing (not good).

As I mentioned in the other post I did about LP, as a guide, when I used my 19.5" dob some years ago, M13 globular cluster looked just like a photo taken with a 100" reflector in an old book I had, absolutely awesome, possibly several thousand stars directly visible without needing hardly any averted vision, a very large twinkling ball of sugar dust, rather bright as well, M57 Ring nebula was just awesome too and quite bright. The limiting magnitude is about 4.4 from here at the very best, judgeing by what stars I can see in Corona Borealis when I last checked. It's a very bright suburban sky here. Ground is very dark, sky is very bright, and that's on a clear moonless night.

Here's what my skies look like (Bortle 6, dark red zone) ;-

http://www.cloudynig...6126622/page...

(scroll down to my post)

Best Regards,

Alistair G.

#37 AcesDJD

AcesDJD

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 91
  • Joined: 06 Oct 2013

Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:15 PM

Thanks for all that. Your scope sounds awesome, I'm wondering if I'll be able to see any nebula at all in my white zone here, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We weigh about exactly the same right now :) I just got through buying a 925 Celestron. My thinking was that at least for me an 8 wouldn't light enough that I would be able to carry the scope and tripod down to the park. If it were like 10 or 15 pounds that would have changed the equation. But at 40 pounds I'm looking at transporting it only by car anyway so I figured I'd move up. When you get into a C11 I think its kind of iffy, but I could imagine when I'm tired after a long night things get even heavier than usually for me, so I had visions of dropping this massive telescope, and if you go through most posts on here they claim the views are only marginally better.

I hope the 925 will be a bit of a gym for me and hopefully I can put on a few pounds, but I didn't want powerlifting to become the main activity in my viewing. (Otherwise would have loved a C14 :)






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics