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I can barely detect the big dipper where I live.

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#1 stargazer193857

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 04:41 PM

It used to be an orange red zone here 6 years ago. Now it is a white zone. I can barely make out the brightest stars of the big dipper to recognize where it is.

I need to buy the 2x54 binos.

#2 frankreed45

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 05:06 PM

I'm surprised it's not dark in Idaho. Things sure are not so good here in Kentucky . Light pollution just keeps getting worse and worse. I did buy a pair of binoculars that are ( I think) 2X42 , made by Omegon. I've only used them a time or two but I think they're pretty nice. I would recommend you try the 2X54's . 



#3 M11Mike

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 05:37 PM

SG193 --- is there not a dark observing spot within 30-60 minute drive???  If so --- it's well worth the drive.  

 

I drive 1 hour to move 1 step darker on the Bortle scale.  And it's easily worth the time and gas.

 

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#4 markb

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 06:08 PM

The 2x42 binos are Galilean so the regular refractor exit pupil calculations don't apply; the discussions were quite some time back. They ARE usable, within their design constraints and light pollution constraints.

 

I had a pair but never used them in a dark sky. Here in white Bortle 9 they were, sadly, of no use. The 45 degree flaks, however, were a whole different kettle of fish.

 

Light pollution has accelerated everywhere with the advent of high output broad spectrum LEDs, and I wish SOME kind of national standards would be put into effect. Even the deep Adirondacks are no longer Bortle 1 anywhere IIRC on my last look at the charts.

 

One of the dipper stars is usually not visible here outside NYC at all. When the sodium lights went out of production they started popping in LED replacements, noticeable over the last 3 years.

 

At any rate, I was shocked to my toes when I used a 10x80 45 degree Flak WWII bino in my backyard.

 

So for nearly anyone, I have been pushing any of the 45 degree binos, depending on budget, like the APM 70s, APM 80s, or Vixen BT80s. I am up to APM 100s, super happy.

 

Ideally, use them with a sliding CW to reduce balance issues. A front-back rail, or an off-side dovetail slider on a T mount alt az will do it. Even a photo tripod will wok once balance issues are resolved, but I use an astro type alt az zero friction EzTouch.

 

Even fixed eyepiece 45 degree binos are fine if just cruising the sky.

 

I had a string of straight-through 70s, 80s and 110s, and sold them all as too uncomfortable for me. All my survivors (60s and 70s) are for terrestrial only, or for the mirror table I dug out, from the 80s. 

 

Mirror tables work, but all the surplus very flat biggies, usually dual mirror, are long gone. 

 

That's my personal experience. YMMV.


Edited by markb, 14 July 2020 - 06:10 PM.


#5 Forward Scatter

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 07:46 PM

Bortle 10 skies. That's a scary thought. Will LP get bad enough in some cities that even the Moon will be washed out?



#6 telesonic

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:41 PM

Yikes! shocked.gif

SG

I'm guessing that you are in the Boise metro area? That is the only place I can think of around here that would likely be that badly LP'd around here. Maybe the Twin area could be that bad too.... it's been many a year since I've been out that way, but I'm sure it's grown too. 

 

Anyway, if you ever have the chance - and are located close enough, you should cruise on down to the Bruneau Dunes state park sometime. They also have an observatory there as well, if you are into that sort of thing. It's a pretty dark sky location, and really the only real one aside from Craters of The Moon area. Or drive out to some far away BLM land to get away from it.

 

 

FWIW, I'm a native Idahoan as well... lived in the same town my whole life, and I can say that I feel your pain brother. The skies here (even in our relatively smallish / medium town) are certainly more light polluted than what I remember when I was a kid. It sucks, and with the growth rate our state has been seeing throughout the last decade - it's not going to get any better, anytime soon. But, I still think we've got it pretty good out here - in comparison to those in the states far east of us.

 

Cheers,

T


Edited by telesonic, 14 July 2020 - 08:42 PM.

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#7 sg6

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 03:03 AM

Take a drive or a walk to somewhere less bright.

That really is the only solution.

 

When assorted meteor showers are expected I just have a 10 minute or less walk to a much darker location. Where I live unless a meteor hit you in the forehead you wouldn't see it, 8 - 10 minute walk and vastly darker skies. I might even be able to dodge to one trying to hit me in the forehead.

 

Whereever you live is not going to do much, and will ask have you attended local meeting on council lighting policy?

 

I never have and I expect less then 99.9% of CN people have, but we do complain.


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#8 Andrew Brown

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 04:11 AM

Take a drive or a walk to somewhere less bright.

That really is the only solution.

 

When assorted meteor showers are expected I just have a 10 minute or less walk to a much darker location. Where I live unless a meteor hit you in the forehead you wouldn't see it, 8 - 10 minute walk and vastly darker skies. I might even be able to dodge to one trying to hit me in the forehead.

 

Whereever you live is not going to do much, and will ask have you attended local meeting on council lighting policy?

 

I never have and I expect less then 99.9% of CN people have, but we do complain.

Perth and Kinross council reply to me re light pollution from unmanned commercial site.

 

"Dear Mr ZZY,

Many thanks for your patience and understanding for the delay in this reply. 

 

From an Environmental Health remit I can confirm that the Statutory Nuisance provisions would not be suitable for the ‘light pollution’ conditions you describe:

 

This is because nuisance relies on the concept of the ‘average person’ and is not designed to take into account uniqueness such as hobbies, health conditions or shift patterns.

‘Light nuisance’ and ‘light pollution’ are not the same thing.

HMP Huntly - Crown property is exempt from Statutory Nuisance provisions.

With regards to the security lighting is on however it is angled and directed in such a way as not to shine onto neighbouring property. 

 

Neighbouring domestic property appears, to be a good distance away and unlikely to be impacted by light nuisance from the site. 

 

Decent curtains or blinds will prevent light entering these domestic properties.

Your questions regarding street lights does not fall under EH remit, and should be addressed to my colleagues in Roads who can advise further.

 

Your questions regarding the cumulative effect of development (light pollution) does not fall under EH remit, and should be addressed to my colleagues in Planning. 

 

EH may be asked to comment on any potential issues from a new development which may impact on existing neighbouring property but ultimately Planning sign off these applications. 

 

Any subsequent issues regarding light nuisance - lighting angles or overspill - from any new development impacting on existing property and those within the property, can still be investigated for Statutory Nuisance .

 

I think you get their jist.

 

When we moved here 17 years ago we could watch the NLs when they got down here...

 

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Edited by Andrew Brown, 15 July 2020 - 04:13 AM.


#9 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 05:43 AM

It used to be an orange red zone here 6 years ago. Now it is a white zone. I can barely make out the brightest stars of the big dipper to recognize where it is.

I need to buy the 2x54 binos.

Presumably this is due to some extremely local lights, in view of the fact that I can see the Big Dipper easily from the window of an apartment in Manhattan. And most of the Little Dipper, too.

 

I think traveling a couple of miles might be a better solution than trying to fight this with different equipment.

 

Moreover, if you have a car, you can reach darker skies with a 1-hour drive than I have in the backyard of my home in rural upstate New York. And to get skies as dark as you could reach with a 2.5-hour drive, I would have to travel all the way to drive about 8 hours. So I'm not altogether sympathetic with your predicament. You have it better than 95% of the people in the U.S.



#10 KI5CAW

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 10:57 AM

My home county as a light pollution ordinance that disallows light emissions above a horizontal plane. This should be a minimum national standard. Alas, enforcement is spotty, but when a new gas station went in three miles from my very suburban location, it was forced to re-engineer its lighting to comply with the law. As built it cast shadows at my house, but after compliance it is barely visible.


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#11 rhetfield

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 12:08 PM

Not seeing the big dipper in his area is very perplexing.  According to the light pollution maps, only downtown Boise and downtown Salt Lake City approach my suburban Chicago light pollution.  Big Dipper is one of the very few things I can see - and it is quite bright.  Little Dipper - on the other hand - is not there.  Only Polaris is visible - just barely bright enough to collimate off of. 



#12 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 02:54 PM

Not seeing the big dipper in his area is very perplexing.  According to the light pollution maps, only downtown Boise and downtown Salt Lake City approach my suburban Chicago light pollution.  Big Dipper is one of the very few things I can see - and it is quite bright.  Little Dipper - on the other hand - is not there.  Only Polaris is visible - just barely bright enough to collimate off of. 

This doesn't seem consistent, either. If you can see all seven Big Dipper stars, you should be able to see at least three in the Little Dipper: Polaris and Kochab (Beta UMi), which are both roughly equal to the 6 brightest Big Dipper stars, and Pherkad (Gamma UMi), which is considerably brighter than Megrez (Delta UMa), the faintest of the Big Dipper stars.

 

The three-star pattern of Polaris, Kochab, and Pherkad is very distinctive, a prominent feature of urban skies. It nestles nicely anti-parallel to the Big Dipper.

 

And once you've picked up the end stars of the Little Dipper, you may well pick up the other three stars of the Little Dipper's handle, which are around magnitude 4.3. Especially right now, when the Little Dipper points almost straight up as the sky grows dark.

 

The only really faint star of the Little Dipper is 5.0-magnitude Eta UMi.


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#13 Supernova74

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 03:11 PM

wouldn’t it be nice if the whole world just for a very short while turn all those lights off I wounder what it would like!?


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#14 Tony Flanders

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 03:37 PM

wouldn’t it be nice if the whole world just for a very short while turn all those lights off I wounder what it would like!?

Why don't you go to northern Scotland to find out? Even the South Downs would be a big improvement over Epsom.



#15 rhetfield

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 03:37 PM

This doesn't seem consistent, either. If you can see all seven Big Dipper stars, you should be able to see at least three in the Little Dipper: Polaris and Kochab (Beta UMi), which are both roughly equal to the 6 brightest Big Dipper stars, and Pherkad (Gamma UMi), which is considerably brighter than Megrez (Delta UMa), the faintest of the Big Dipper stars.

 

The three-star pattern of Polaris, Kochab, and Pherkad is very distinctive, a prominent feature of urban skies. It nestles nicely anti-parallel to the Big Dipper.

 

And once you've picked up the end stars of the Little Dipper, you may well pick up the other three stars of the Little Dipper's handle, which are around magnitude 4.3. Especially right now, when the Little Dipper points almost straight up as the sky grows dark.

 

The only really faint star of the Little Dipper is 5.0-magnitude Eta UMi.

 

This doesn't seem consistent, either. If you can see all seven Big Dipper stars, you should be able to see at least three in the Little Dipper: Polaris and Kochab (Beta UMi), which are both roughly equal to the 6 brightest Big Dipper stars, and Pherkad (Gamma UMi), which is considerably brighter than Megrez (Delta UMa), the faintest of the Big Dipper stars.

 

The three-star pattern of Polaris, Kochab, and Pherkad is very distinctive, a prominent feature of urban skies. It nestles nicely anti-parallel to the Big Dipper.

 

And once you've picked up the end stars of the Little Dipper, you may well pick up the other three stars of the Little Dipper's handle, which are around magnitude 4.3. Especially right now, when the Little Dipper points almost straight up as the sky grows dark.

 

The only really faint star of the Little Dipper is 5.0-magnitude Eta UMi.

Will have to take a closer look the next time the clouds part.  As a general rule, there is not a whole lot of noticeable traffic around Polaris in my skies until I look through the EP.  In the meantime, I am happy to have found NEOWISE in the 10x50's.



#16 jcj380

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 07:46 AM

This doesn't seem consistent, either. If you can see all seven Big Dipper stars, you should be able to see at least three in the Little Dipper [...]

 

The three-star pattern of Polaris, Kochab, and Pherkad is very distinctive, a prominent feature of urban skies. It nestles nicely anti-parallel to the Big Dipper.

I see three in the Little Dipper in the western 'burbs of Chicago.  Pink zone, which is B7-8.



#17 Supernova74

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 07:58 AM

well you cannot bring darker sky’s to your location due to light pollution so unfortunately you have to go to it.

i live around 12 miles outside central London with a sky bortale 6 class conditions it’s not the best from a long shot however you can really start seeing objects around that scale.i think you be pleasantly suprised with a little online research google earth and other various light pollution apps you don,t always have to travel absolutely miles away to get darker clearer sky for exsample around 10-15 miles away from my location I can have class 4 skys which is rural conditions the Milky Way will be apparent amongst other deep sky objects.and your scope will really start to shine regardless of aperture.



#18 Supernova74

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 08:08 AM

Why don't you go to northern Scotland to find out? Even the South Downs would be a big improvement over Epsom.

Yes your right thing is in uk it’s getting those lucky breaks in the weather to make it worth while.and unfortunately don,t drive however in a few years time I’m hoping to relocate closer to the South Downs a place called midhurst and apart from being class 4 which is a major improvement property is cheaper to rent.i was pleasantly suprised one of the hot spot locations in the world is here actually in the uk a place called Keider observatory up north protected dark sky’s.i spoke to the founder last year who happens to be a brick layer Gary fildes now he does out reach Astronomy.



#19 George N

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 09:02 AM

wouldn’t it be nice if the whole world just for a very short while turn all those lights off I wounder what it would like!?

 

They would probably do it on Full Moon!

 

The last time there was a general area 2 night power failure where I live - it was nice warm summertime -- and full moon.....  tongue2.gif


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#20 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 01:11 PM

There is a direct positive correlation between dark skies and cloud cover in the UK.

#21 rajilina

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 10:22 AM

There is a direct positive correlation between dark skies and cloud cover in the UK.

Cloud cover makes a difference everywhere. I spent the last week and a half camping about 20 minutes outside a small rural town in Utah. We had cloudless nights and some with scattered clouds. The difference in SQM readings between the two was a full point or more, going from the darkest at 21.85 on a clear night, when the town was hardly even noticeable, to the low 20's when clouds parked over the town would light up half of the sky and make observing noticeably more difficult. 



#22 rhetfield

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 02:52 PM

This doesn't seem consistent, either. If you can see all seven Big Dipper stars, you should be able to see at least three in the Little Dipper: Polaris and Kochab (Beta UMi), which are both roughly equal to the 6 brightest Big Dipper stars, and Pherkad (Gamma UMi), which is considerably brighter than Megrez (Delta UMa), the faintest of the Big Dipper stars.

 

The three-star pattern of Polaris, Kochab, and Pherkad is very distinctive, a prominent feature of urban skies. It nestles nicely anti-parallel to the Big Dipper.

 

And once you've picked up the end stars of the Little Dipper, you may well pick up the other three stars of the Little Dipper's handle, which are around magnitude 4.3. Especially right now, when the Little Dipper points almost straight up as the sky grows dark.

 

The only really faint star of the Little Dipper is 5.0-magnitude Eta UMi.

Clouds finally parted and I took a look.  Kochab and Pherkad are indeed visible some distance from Polaris.  Megrez is a challenge to see on some nights.



#23 jcj380

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Posted 25 July 2020 - 08:32 AM

High humidity will also reduce what you can see.  I stepped out after dark last night and although it was clear, humidity was so high that naked eye stars were noticeably dimmed and there was muck glow up to about 40* above the horizon.  Nasty.

 

Went to bed and got up about 0200.  Much better visibility but everything was soaked in dew by 0400.



#24 bjkaras

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 07:08 PM

During the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the San Jose area had no power for a of couple days. It’s normally a Bortle 7-8 area, but from my dad’s house that night the Milky was was very prominent. The folks up at Lick Observatory must have been happy! I ran home and brought my 10” over and set up on the driveway.


Edited by bjkaras, 28 July 2020 - 11:23 PM.

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