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Neighborhood Street Lights and viewing

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#1 EOAsus

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 01:21 PM

I live in the NW area of Phoenix (Peoria).  I'm not on the edge of the city but I'm fairly far away from central Phoenix.  I have a large backyard and I have my setup in the darkest part of the yard.  However, there are still  street lamps around that are fairly bright.   This is the only place I've used my equipment, I haven't taken it to any remote desert areas...yet.   I know star parties are usually held in more remote areas but having no other frame of reference, my question is, how significantly is my viewing being affected by the neighborhood street lights or how much of a difference would it make by taking my equipment to a remote desert area?

 

Thanks



#2 wrvond

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 01:28 PM

Can you see the Milky Way naked eye from your back yard? I can see it from mine and a dark sky site is still a wondrous thing. waytogo.gif



#3 EOAsus

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 02:05 PM

Most nights, yes.



#4 Nikolas Olson

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 02:10 PM

So the street lights themselves shouldn't be causing much of a problems because there are only a few of them the main glow from the city causes around 90% of problems. 



#5 EOAsus

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 02:17 PM

Hmmm, I see.  I figured there would be an advantage to going to a remote area but before I made that effort, I was curious to get a rough idea of how much of a difference it would make, relative to where I am currently.

 

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#6 jeffreym

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 02:18 PM

One or two cut-off type street lights really isn't going to impact your viewing unless they are visible from where you are set up.  The concern would be that if you can see them this will impact your night vision.  The general glow from the lights will not create any significant additional glow in the sky dome light pollution above you.  A bright spot light is the only thing that could impact the LP where you are if it was directed in the area above you but that does not seem to be what you have there.  So, it sounds like your not too bad off if you can see the MW.  The milky way is only visible a couple times a year from my yard.

Have fun.

Jeff



#7 jeffreym

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 02:19 PM

Going to a dark site WILL make a difference.  No question about that.

Jeff


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#8 Tony Flanders

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 06:11 PM

Hmmm, I see.  I figured there would be an advantage to going to a remote area but before I made that effort, I was curious to get a rough idea of how much of a difference it would make, relative to where I am currently.


A huge difference. The nearby streetlights are likely not especially harmful as long as they're not directly visible, in which case they're prone to ruin your dark adaptation. The skyglow caused by a handful of streetlights is negligible.

However, being near Phoenix is a huge liability. The glow of Phoenix is visible pretty much across the entire state -- from Flagstaff (150 miles as the crow flies) to Kitt Peak (100 miles). Imagine, then, how much it messes up your skies, who actually live inside the light-producing region.

Being able to see the Milky Way is a very low bar. In the Bortle Dark Sky Scale, the Milky Way is visible all the way from Class 1 (the best) to Class 6, and maybe even Class 7. It's only in the worst two classes (8 and 9) where the Milky Way is genuinely invisible.


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#9 Astro-Master

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 07:57 PM

For a dark site try the Antenna Site on Clear Sky Chart, its west on Interstate 10,  Alamo Lake State Park, and Burro Creek Campground are to the northwest, but may be closed because of Covid 19.

 

Observing under a dark sky is such a great experience, you just can't believe how much better everything looks!


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#10 EOAsus

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 12:38 PM

Thank you all for the replies, very helpful.  To Apollo, I know where Burro Creek Campground is, which isn't terribly far from where I am, the other two I'm not familiar with.  I'm anxious to try it.



#11 Kendahl

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 03:12 AM

The glow of Phoenix is visible pretty much across the entire state

We were surprised (and disappointed) to see it from Pinedale, 15 miles west of Show Low.




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