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Thread: Light Pollution Reduction Filters?

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    Default Light Pollution Reduction Filters?



    Hello,

    I live in an area with moderate light pollution, about a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being NYC and 1 being middle of Wyoming. While aimlessly wandering the internet, I came across this on Celestron's website: UHC/LPR Filter (LINK).

    Honestly, when I first saw this, I thought that it was too good to be true. When I read "...selectively reduce the transmission of certain wavelengths of light, specifically those produced by artificial light..." I thought that it sounded great, based off my knowledge of basic physics. But, that is just basic physics, and I'm no professional physicist. So, I was wondering if anyone knows how well these work (either from experience, an actual physics background, or some other way of knowing). I'm naturally skeptical of everything I find, especially if its a $75 piece of plastic.

    Any advice on this product and/or similar ones?

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    Default Re: Light Pollution Reduction Filters?

    Similar ones? I have one of these.

    Comparing it with the Celestron, the UB-NB band is more centered around 490nm... Hydrogen-Beta and OIII area.

    It makes the background of Las Vegas urban skies darker, which does give one more contrast... much like adding power when hunting DSOs in LP. The UB-NB does bring out some emission nebula well.

    Clear, Dark Skies
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    Default Re: Light Pollution Reduction Filters?

    The filter John mentioned is a nebula filter. It works by passing certain wavelengths that are predominant in certain nebulae while blocking other wavelengths. They also darken the field as John stated. I have one myself and it certainly works well on many emission nebulae and helps a fair amount with planetary nebulae as well.

    The filter you mentioned is a broadband filter that blocks certain wavelengths of light associated with artificial sources. The Celestron UHC/LPR is very similar if not equivalent to the Orion Sky Glow and Baader UHC-S filters. However, be aware that the broad banded light pollution filters are not a magic pill for light pollution. The worse your light pollution the less effective they are because the filter becomes swamped with the increasing sky glow, rendering them useless for the most part. Now in areas with moderate to little light pollution they can be very subtly effective in reducing light from such sources as mercury vapor and sodium lights. I have an Orion Sky Glow filter that I have found very, very subtly helpful with certain extended, low surface brightness objects from both my typically Bortle 5 backyard and our typically Bortle 2 to 3 dark site. But I cannot stress the word subtle enough. They will not allow you to see something that you couldn't see without the filter. The impact is just not anywhere near that dramatic. I see many LPR filters in the used market because some beginners bought them thinking they would be the answer to all their visual observing woes, only to find out that just isn't the case. They aren't totally useless, but there are better uses for one's money if they have a tight budget. Actually LPR filters designed for imaging are effective in the imaging side of the hobby, but then again, the camera is much more sensitive than our eyes.

    I recommend you read the below two articles for some background on various filters. Filters can be useful provided one understands when and how to apply them. Hope some of this helps.

    Some Available Light Pollution And Narrow-Band Filters | The Prairie Astronomy Club

    Useful Filters For Viewing Deep-Sky Objects | The Prairie Astronomy Club
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    Default Re: Light Pollution Reduction Filters?

    Awesome advice, thanks. I might get one if I get into astrophotography, but for now, my money will be spent elsewhere.

    Thanks again, and clear skies to all,

    Spencer
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