Just a mild rant, and thanks in advance for letting me vent...
I really need to get out to some dark skies.
Just getting back into the hobby in February after a year-and-a-half hiatus, but I haven't been out away from the city lights in at least 6-7 years. I did have a good 90 minute session in my urban backyard Saturday night, nabbing 37 objects and overall quite pleased with the way things went. Using my C8, and despite being surrounded by street lights, it was able to pull in a boatload of Open Clusters and a handful or so of galaxies...all the M's in Leo, along with 63, 94, 106, 81, 82.
But it was the half-dozen objects that I couldn't see that made me pine for the open desert sites I used to go to. I could not get the third member of the Leo Trio, nor 3077, nor M's 108 and 109. Also unsuccessful seeing 101, 102, 2903. No luck either with M97, or that planetary nebula hanging in M46, even with an Ultrablock filter on these two. Just way too much skyglow.
I know these and many more objects are well within the limits of an 8" scope under even moderately dark skies. A mere 60-90 minute drive would make a world of difference. Unfortunately it always seems like there's something preventing me from packing up and heading out. Whether it's family obligations, plans with the wife/kids/grandkids, uncooperative weather, or I'm just too tired...I never seem to get that opportunity. I'd better do it soon, because before you know it, our intense desert heat will be here and won't be gone until October.
Don't get me wrong...I thoroughly enjoy my backyard sessions. It's just there are so many things being washed out by the city lights. I KNOW they're right there, in my eyepiece, but I'm unable to see them due to the glow. Like trying to swim through a shower curtain!
Edited by rocco13, 16 April 2018 - 09:25 AM.