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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Should I get a telescope for these light pollution
      #6121862 - 10/07/13 08:31 AM

condtions?

Hi, new member here. I have enjoyed reading a lot of your posts already before joining. I live in Gwacheon, South Korea which I doubt any of you know but who knows...Anyway, it's 10 miles outside of Seoul, which is probably one of the most light polluted areas on earth.

I would say the air pollution is actually worse than the light pollution overall, but thankfully in the fall and winter siberian air clears that out for the most part. I'm okay with just observing for half the year, but I'm mainly interested in seeing deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae. The planets and the moon are cool, but it seems everytime I go to an observatory that's what I see, so if I'm going to be limited to Jupiter, Saturn and the moon, I think I might hold off till I move to the countryside (won't be happening anytime soon unfortunately...)

If you guys could take a look at this link and help me to tell me whether I'd be able to see galaxies in a fairly defined way in my light pollution conditions that would be great. This will be another thread, but I'm considering probably an 8" 9.25, or 11" celestron or possibly a 12" dobsonian. Weight is a consideration so I may end up on the low end of that, but certainly no lower.

So here's the link http://astroscanenthusiast.blogspot.kr/2013/01/dealing-with-light-pollution-w...

(It shows various sky conditions you might encounter in the city, suburbs etc.)

When I look at the sattelite, basically I'm in a huge white spot, but we're blocked off from seoul by a mountain so I don't think it's quite that bad.

I would say we're between a 5 and a 7 in the best conditions, but that said I'd be observing a lot in 7 conditions.

Would I be wasting my money? I'm not expecting hubble telescope stuff, but I'd like to see spiral arms possibly, stuff like that....


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6121877 - 10/07/13 08:40 AM

I just showed the chart to my wife, she disagrees with me and thinks we're a 5, definitely no better than that though.

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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6121881 - 10/07/13 08:45 AM

My recommendation would be to get a small telescope now and a larger one when you move. Enjoy what you can and get an idea of what is even visible from your area before you spend a lot of money.

obin


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6121894 - 10/07/13 08:52 AM

I won't be moving for years probably. What size scope would you recommend to have an idea of what galaxies I would be able to see? Money isn't a huge issue, I'm okay with spending a few bucks...

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Illinois
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Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6121930 - 10/07/13 09:14 AM

Quote:

I won't be moving for years probably. What size scope would you recommend to have an idea of what galaxies I would be able to see? Money isn't a huge issue, I'm okay with spending a few bucks...




I think C11 is better because its F10 that you can enjoy look at Juipter, Saturn, Mars, Moon , etc in light pollution. C11 get more light that you might see faint galaxies and nebula. I used 10 inch dobsonian and I can see all 3 galaxies (M31, M32 and M110)so near Chicago. Chicago is terrible light pollution. (White zone) I think C11 F10 is great for many years to use and if you don't mind that C11 is heavy. C11 at low power for galaxies, nebula and open cluster while use medium and high power for planets and Moon, etc. That's me to pick C11! Good luck!


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Illinois
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Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: Illinois]
      #6121937 - 10/07/13 09:18 AM

galaxy's arms is very hard to see even in my 16 inch Dobsonian in yellow zone light pollution! Keep your eyes stay in dark and look at galaxy for a few minutes. look up, down and around then you might catch a faint arm but not easy! I can see faint arms in M51 and M101 in my 16 inch!

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obin robinson
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6121942 - 10/07/13 09:20 AM

I live about 20 miles south of Houston which is terribly light polluted as well. I do 90% of my viewing with an ST-80 telescope and a 20mm or 32mm eyepiece. I can see star clusters, double stars, satellites, planets (but not in high detail), and the centers of galaxies like andromeda.

When I bring out the 6" or 10" telescopes I can see a few more stars but I also see a lot more light pollution. In the 80mm f/5 the sky is a dark blueish color. With the 10" f/4.5 the sky is almost light grey when looking at the exact same stars at the exact same time.

The big telescopes scoop up more light pollution. They do grab a bit more detail in nebula but it's not like they exclude light pollution either. I would vote for a smaller refractor like an 80mm-100mm or so and when you get a big 10"+ reflector in the future you can still use the refractor as a grab-and-go.

If money isn't an issue I'd go for an apochromatic refractor. I was surprised at the amount of double stars and galaxies I could see with my ED80. I am going to send you an IM to my online archive. You will get an idea of what I can see in the red/white zone with small telescopes.

obin


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: Illinois]
      #6121948 - 10/07/13 09:24 AM

Thanks Illinois, I will think about the C11. That's disappointing about the arms, I doubt I'll ever get a scope as sizeable as yours. I have some family about 1 1/2 hours south of Chicago in a rural town, and I have to say the conditions aren't much better than they are here. A bit, but when you consider how much further they are from a metro area than I am, it's pretty disappointing. It seems once you get out of the immediate inner city things improve a lot, but you really need to get far from even the medium cities to get conditions significantly better. Some kind of light pollution law of diminishing returns or something...

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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6121956 - 10/07/13 09:28 AM

Thanks a lot obin, I'm going to do some serious research on the scopes you're recommending. Hopefully they're available on ebay as it's hard to get things shipped here.. I didn't think of the fact that a bigger scope would get more light pollution.

If you have your telescope looking straight up, is this still an issue? I can see hundreds of stars straight up, it's the stars near the horizon that really suffer from being close to the city.


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6121965 - 10/07/13 09:34 AM

How's a scope like this?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Meade-114EQ-AR-TELESCOPE-STAR-EQUATORIAL-REFLECTING-A...

It doesn't look like my favorite even for a cheap scope, but is available in Korea, would this compare favorably to what you have?


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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6121993 - 10/07/13 09:44 AM

I have basically the same optics as that Meade EQ in the planetary camera I am building. Here's what Jupiter looks like on a good day. This is a stack of a CCD capture but you get the idea.



You'll be able to see a lot with it. I think you will be satisfied until you can get to the country and buy a larger telescope. I know mine got lots of usage before I rebuilt it.

obin


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6122001 - 10/07/13 09:51 AM

Wow that's a lot better than I expected. Didn't look that much better at the observatory here which has a 20 incher. The moons did look a good bit larger though.

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REC
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6122146 - 10/07/13 11:01 AM

That's a very nice image of what size it would look like in the scope. What would you say the approximate power that gave you this size of Jupiter? To me it looks about 15x?

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obin robinson
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: REC]
      #6122159 - 10/07/13 11:07 AM

Thanks! It's an f/7.9 114mm and the image seemed to be about the same size as when I put a ~7.5mm eyepiece in the focuser. I could be wrong though but that seemed about right from what I can recall.

obin


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BSJ
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 12/22/08

Loc: Grand Isle, VT
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6125070 - 10/08/13 02:16 PM

Quote:

Wow that's a lot better than I expected. Didn't look that much better at the observatory here which has a 20 incher. The moons did look a good bit larger though.




Visual and photography can't be compared. What you'll see in such a small scope will be MUCH less detailed.


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: BSJ]
      #6126597 - 10/09/13 09:23 AM

^ Thanks, I was just reading about this, apparently photographers usually leave the aperture open for minutes or longer which allows for a lot more light collection. I have a lot to learn apparently.

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6126656 - 10/09/13 10:07 AM

Just me, but maybe consider a 4" achromat like the Omni 102XLT. Great optics, affordable, f9.8, 1000mm f/l...and on a CG4 mount as well. For a few dollars more you can motorize the mount for tracking.

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obin robinson
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6126666 - 10/09/13 10:12 AM

Quote:

^ Thanks, I was just reading about this, apparently photographers usually leave the aperture open for minutes or longer which allows for a lot more light collection. I have a lot to learn apparently.




I intentionally took those photos to represent what the objects looked like through the eyepiece. They aren't very long exposures.

obin


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6126712 - 10/09/13 10:37 AM

Small scope-check
White zone seeing conditions-check
Pictures- amazing


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photowriter
newbie


Reged: 09/04/13

Loc: San Jose, CA
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6133092 - 10/12/13 01:17 PM

I live in Suwon. I recommend that you better go to Yangpyeong or Yongin to see a few galaxies.

Yangpyeong has relatively good sky to observe. But, it would take around 2 hours to go there.

Yongin is closer than Yangpyeong. From my home, it takes 35 min to go to Yongin Football Center. Yongin FC shows a grade lower than Yangpyeong(forget about western sky for the terrible light pollution from Seoul). But you can see Eastern Veil Nebular w/ 12 inch Dob.

You might see a few nabulae or deep sky objects in Gwacheon. But even though you might find them, they won't show any spectables to you in such a bad sky condition.

Edited by photowriter (10/12/13 01:19 PM)


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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6133938 - 10/12/13 10:03 PM

I spent a year at Yongson, headquartered in Seoul, from 1978-79. Korea is a beautiful country. Maybe you could consider buying an 8 inch Celestron. It would be easy to set up where you live to view the brighter stuff, yet small enough to haul to a dark sky site. To see deep sky objects such as galaxies and most nebula, you need to get to a dark sky site. From light polluted skies, you can still see well the planets, brighter globulars and nebula, and a whole bunch of double stars. Double stars are fascinating with their variety, differing colors and separation of components.

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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: GeneT]
      #6134634 - 10/13/13 10:02 AM

Thanks photowriter, will have to check those locations out I assume they are in Gangwon-do. You are right Gwacheon doesn't have the best conditions in the world, still light years better than Seoul unless you're observing downtown. I don't know if you're aware of this, but Gwacheon has an observatory at the science museum. The experience wasn't my cup of tea because the guy running it didn't know English and my Korean isn't up to snuff, so I didn't know how to request to look at other things besides Jupiter and Saturn, seems like he had things set up just to look at the planets... The biggest telescope there looked to be 20" at least so if you're in the area you might want to check it out once. They managed to darken all the lights near the observatory so its about the best conditions you'll get anywhere near here. Unfortunately they won't let me take a private telescope on the property at night unless I have a ticket to use the observatory

How clear are the skies in the Suwon area?

Anyway, after doing lots of naked eye observations over the past two weeks and reading lots of posts on here and on other sites, I think I'm going to downgrade my location to white zone Yes I had a day where it looked a lot better, but I don't think I can buy a telescope based on an anomaly.

I've come to the conclusion that although opinions vary, the majority say you actually need more aperture in a white zone, so I'll be buying either an 8" 9.5 or 11" SCT. So I'm pretty much down to an aperture vs weight situation. I'm not a big guy about 125 pounds soaking wet, so anything over 80 pounds would be out of the question. IF the 8" SCT is 65 pounds total than that's still a lot so I think I'll live with carrying another 15 for the much better views I'll get. If I can find a much lighter 8" say 45 or 50 pounds well then I think I'll take my chance on missing a little aperture.

Any posts by experienced red/white zone people would be appreciated as well as advice on SCTs. Thanks.


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6134642 - 10/13/13 10:06 AM

Thanks for your post Gene. I wasn't here in the 70's, came here fairly recently, but I've run into a few people here who were there back then, and everyone says you wouldn't believe how much things have changed. There are neon lights everywhere and I think 40% of the population lives in Seoul now. I'd say at least in my area, most Koreans earn a higher salary than Americans do. They've really made a lot of economic strides.

I'm excited to take a look at double stars I think those will be my first target if galaxies aren't realistic. If you have any pertinent advice on SCT's it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6135272 - 10/13/13 03:41 PM

Here's a short article on urban astronomy that I put together a couple of years ago:

Stargazing from light-polluted locales can be quite challenging. However, a fair number of celestial objects can be successfully observed from cities. The Moon, the bright planets, bright binary stars, bright open and globular clusters, bright nebulae, and bright galaxies are all possible targets.

A number of articles on the subject appear at http://www.astronomy.com/asy/default.aspx?c=ss&id=152

Tips on city observing are posted at the following sites:

http://www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/urban/urbantip.html

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/howto/basics/3303991.html

http://www.astronomy.com/News-Observing/Urban%20Skies/2006/12/Setup%20is%20ke...

Urban astronomy is also discussed at these sites:

http://www.dirtyskies.com/

http://washedoutastronomy.com/

http://urbanastronomer.blogspot.com/

Books on the subject include Urban Astronomy by Denis Berthier and The Urban Astronomer's Guide: A Walking Tour of the Cosmos for City Sky Watchers (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series) by Rod Mollise.

http://www.amazon.com/Urban-Astronomy-Denis-Berthier/dp/052153190X

http://www.amazon.com/Urban-Astronomers-Guide-Practical-Astronomy/dp/1846282160

Lists of deep-sky objects that are visible from urban areas can be found at the following URLs:

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze55p46/id10.html

http://www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/urban/urbanld.html

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/projects/3074841.html

http://www.astronomy.com/en/News-Observing/Urban%20Skies/2006/12/Explore%20de...

Dave Mitsky


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photowriter
newbie


Reged: 09/04/13

Loc: San Jose, CA
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6135848 - 10/13/13 09:08 PM

AcesDJD,

I agree that at least Gwacheon is quite better than Seoul. But it is not enough dark to observe deep sky objects. You can find how bright Gwacheon are at Dark Sky Map .

Suwon also is not good to observe deep sky. Past two weeks, the sky condition was fairly good. A lot better than usual Korean sky.

Anyway, it will be good to have a car to do observations. Yonging Football Center that I said is placed in Kyunggi-do. Yangpyeong is placed in Kyunggi-do also. Gangwon-do has better sky but it is too far from Gwacheon or Suwon.


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svdwal
super member


Reged: 03/10/13

Loc: Leiden, The Netherlands
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: photowriter]
      #6136236 - 10/14/13 02:39 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.


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: svdwal]
      #6136300 - 10/14/13 05:38 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?


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6136303 - 10/14/13 05:41 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?

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Illinois
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/18/06

Loc: near Dixon, Illinois USA
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6136441 - 10/14/13 08:44 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!


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: Illinois]
      #6136666 - 10/14/13 11:04 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.

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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6136837 - 10/14/13 12:24 PM

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.


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svdwal
super member


Reged: 03/10/13

Loc: Leiden, The Netherlands
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6136932 - 10/14/13 01:01 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.


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photowriter
newbie


Reged: 09/04/13

Loc: San Jose, CA
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6137014 - 10/14/13 01:26 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

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.

Edited by photowriter (10/14/13 01:38 PM)


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: photowriter]
      #6138096 - 10/14/13 11:33 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.


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AcesDJD
member


Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6138098 - 10/14/13 11:35 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.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/3760253/page...


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Live_Steam_Mad
sage


Reged: 07/24/07

Loc: Moss Bank, St.Helens, England
Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: AcesDJD]
      #6154113 - 10/23/13 05:34 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 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 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)

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.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/6126622/page...

(scroll down to my post)

Best Regards,

Alistair G.

Edited by Live_Steam_Mad (10/24/13 12:01 AM)


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AcesDJD
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Reged: 10/06/13

Re: Should I get a telescope for these light pollution new [Re: Live_Steam_Mad]
      #6154354 - 10/23/13 08:15 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


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