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Thread: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

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    Default Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester



    Hey Everyone,

    I'm in Denton in Manchester and according to this site - https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#...rs=B0FFFFTFFFF my stats are - SQM 18.64 mag./arc sec2, Brightness 3.77 mcd/m2, Artif. bright. 3600 ╬╝cd/m2, Ratio 21.0, Bortle class 7 - which all seems pretty poor.

    Can anyone who has similar stats let me know if this would be ok with an 8" Dob please? We can travel up into the Peak District, or down into Wales, but it would be good to manage our expectations of what we'll see from the garden.

    Any comments appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Kev

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    Default Re: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

    You can use a light pollution filter. It will help. I am not in Great Britain.
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    Default Re: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

    That's a great link, many thanks!

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    Default Re: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

    I also have Bortle class 7 and use a 6" telescope (Celestron 6SE).

    There are plenty of deep space objects which I can see, with various degrees of difficulty, but some Messier objects are invisible or hard to detect. M31 is very easy, but I have never seen M1 or M33. From a dark site these should be easy enough to see.
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    Default Re: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

    I'm between Bortle 6-7 and have seen all of the Messier objects through my scope (Z10). Aperture counts even under light polluted conditions, so I would not hesitate with your plans to observe from your garden. Sure, dark skies are great, but there is still plenty to see from home.
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    Default Re: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

    In addition to good replies above, some of targets like Moon, planets, asteroids, double and carbon stars are not affected by light pollution, and some like star clusters and planetary nebulae can stand to light pollution quite well. So, with 8" scope there will be plenty to see from your backyard.
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    Default Re: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

    All those responses make me feel way better about picking up the scope. I was really worried that we'd only really get to pick out the moon, which would be exciting anyway!

    Cheers,

    Kev
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    Default Re: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

    Hi Kev,
    I can't comment on your light pollution level, it isn't even that bright in the middle of the city where I live.

    However I'll offer some general advice about your Q : "Is it suitable for an 8" dob?"

    If the dob has an open tube, eg strut design, a black fabric shroud will help if there is stray light as will a lens hood. A black cloth to throw over your head to eliminate stray light entering your eyes will also help. In cold weather, the eyepiece may fog up so an electric heater band or chemical hand warmer pack attached to the eyepiece will prevent that.

    The light pollution makes very little difference when observing the Moon, planets, or double stars. It makes a big difference for extended objects. These are objects that have a large discernible diameter such as emission nebulae, galaxies, globular clusters, planetary nebulae.

    These objects are often faint and get fainter towards the edges. So light pollution eats into what you can see and makes the object smaller and less impressive.

    It goes without saying that any telescope of any aperture will see more detail in deep sky objects from dark skies than the same telescope from light polluted skies. Light pollution is a killer and yours seems particularly bad.

    I would recommend the biggest telescope that is easily transportable by you, will allow you to easier and more frequent access dark skies. You might find that an 8" dob in dark skies will see more than a much larger scope from badly light polluted skies like yours. The Orion (UK) scopes are designed for easy breakdown and transport. They will cost more than a low end 8" dob but may be worth it. As a teenager, I spent a lot of time observing from inner suburban Brisbane, Australia with occasional access to darker skies. During university I had frequent access to a dark sky site. It was much much better. Now I live in a moderately light polluted suburb in Canberra, Bortle 5, 20.03 mag per sq arc sec. But I have my 18" scope stored 1 hr & 73km away at a Bortle 2, almost Bortle 1 site, 21.95 mag per sq arc sec in a friends observatory. The result is that now, I do no observing from home. Only the 18" dob is on the site for now, it still needs to be wheeled out and the trusses and secondary cage assembled. I still have to transport all the accessories and if i want to do photography, the EQ mount and smaller OTA's for that. But I personally don't think it's worth observing from home any more. Even though my suburban skies are not bad, my dark skies are so much better that I store my primary visual instrument an hours drive away. I have smaller instruments in town but usually transport them to the dark site to use them. The picture shows my scope looking south but above Canberra's light pollution which is just a sliver on the horizon. It's even less obvious to the eye when observing.

    18inch-Bengt-7302-1.jpg


    So if I were you, I would do a bit of triaging of my observing.
    1. Concentrate on observing the Moon, planets, double stars, open clusters and perhaps bright globular clusters from home.
    2. Then I really encourage you to go out to your dark sites on moonless nights and concentrate on observing nebulae, galaxies, planetary nebulae and globular clusters.

    All those responses make me feel way better about picking up the scope. I was really worried that we'd only really get to pick out the moon, which would be exciting anyway!

    It certainly is. The Moon is worthy of detailed and extended inspection. Even with the 18" dob, and my mate's 12" Cassegrain, we sometime spend a whole evening observing the lunar surface in detail comparing views through the two scopes. In large telescopes, the image is so bright that you can't really observe anything else for some time after you stop looking at the moon. Detail is best seen at the terminator, so observing on successive nights let's you see shadow play on different features each night. Give yourself plenty of time at the eyepiece, look for delicate rills and shadows cast on the mare by mountains on the rim. Sometimes you'll be observing and suddenly the sun will "rise" and illuminate a peak in the middle of a crater.

    Good luck and have fun!

    Joe
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    Default Re: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

    Hey Joe,

    The dob I'll be picking up is the Skywatcher Skyliner 8", so a closed tube. It's a big old thing but will easily breakdown into two parts, meaning that it's transportable in the back of the car.

    We are an hour away from a dark sky site in the peak district, and a couple of hours from Snowdonia International Dark Sky Reserve.

    Our plan is to get used to the scope and have a good look at the moon while getting used to navigating the sky from the garden.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply with such good advice, it's much appreciated. Some amazing pictures on your website!

    Cheers,

    Kev

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    Default Re: Light Pollution Question, Denton, Manchester

    Hi Kev,
    My pleasure and thanks for your comments.

    I visited Snowdonia and Anglesea about 5 years ago. Beautiful part of the world!

    Good luck

    Joe
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