worst light pollution ever?

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realflow100
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worst light pollution ever?

#1

Post by realflow100 »

is my light pollution really bad if the orion constellation and nebula looks the same even when the sky is getting brighter in the morning?

the sky is clearly glowing a dull green-ish blue color this morning around like 6:20 to 6:30 or so

around 6:00 the sky was dark but orion nebula didnt look any different with my 4-inch telescope before or after the sky started getting lighter

naked eye I could still see 3 faint pairs of stars where orion nebula is. and a few other stars around it

even with a half moon out too. the moon makes no difference full or new moon to the light pollution.

I could still see the same amount of nebula either way. around 6:00 or 6:30 just with a brighter background sky. the stars and nebula look almost the same either way. not any fainter than before.

orion nebula is just barely visible as a faint glow with some bright stars in it. with a dark dust pillar going toward the middle. but not really any other detail. its very featureless.
orion skyscanner 100mm F4 reflector telescope. Canon EOS 500D/rebel-T1i. Also kit lens 18-55mm IS II. ioptron Smartstar E8500R alt-az goto mount and tripod. no EQ mode limited controller options
canon 55-250mm IS II lens.
2x doublet shorty barlow 2 lens elements in 1 group
5x barlow simple 2 lens elements in 2 groups not doublet but image is decently clear
0.5x reducer not really used much.
svbony ultra wide 66 degree eyepiece kit
20mm 15mm 9mm and 6mm
svbony UHC 1.25 filter (Makes stars fainter. but nebula like orion seems to stay about the same brightness. its hard to tell if it improves the view or not. the background sky is dramatically darker but thats about it)
and 1% to 40% variable polaraizer filter ICE broadband lipo filter just seems to make things slightly "cooler" tinted so not sure what its doing. does not have a light wavelength chart.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#2

Post by Ylem »

Sounds like you might have a couple industries or school yards near by :(

I'm just south of Charlotte and mine LP is quite bearable.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#3

Post by realflow100 »

I'm in orangeburg SC

I live in an apartment complex kind of place. Very bright streetlights EVERYWHERE like every 100 feet. another streetlight. its like daylight almost. they hurt your eyes a lot if you look directly at the streetlights for even a split second

The trees are bright and well lit up everywhere. you can see them glowing yell/orange with the naked eye brightly.
orion skyscanner 100mm F4 reflector telescope. Canon EOS 500D/rebel-T1i. Also kit lens 18-55mm IS II. ioptron Smartstar E8500R alt-az goto mount and tripod. no EQ mode limited controller options
canon 55-250mm IS II lens.
2x doublet shorty barlow 2 lens elements in 1 group
5x barlow simple 2 lens elements in 2 groups not doublet but image is decently clear
0.5x reducer not really used much.
svbony ultra wide 66 degree eyepiece kit
20mm 15mm 9mm and 6mm
svbony UHC 1.25 filter (Makes stars fainter. but nebula like orion seems to stay about the same brightness. its hard to tell if it improves the view or not. the background sky is dramatically darker but thats about it)
and 1% to 40% variable polaraizer filter ICE broadband lipo filter just seems to make things slightly "cooler" tinted so not sure what its doing. does not have a light wavelength chart.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#4

Post by helicon »

Maybe try to get away to darker skies once in a while. The conditions at my home have degraded over the past five years. First, the city installed a streetlight across the street, which washes out views to the north. Next, a neighbor installed a motion detector light which they refuse to turn off. I now always use the trick of throwing an observing towel over my head so I can get dark adapted at the eyepiece.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#5

Post by Ylem »

You probably wouldn't have to travel to far, maybe 10 miles west at the most for decent skies.
If I recall there is maybe a couple of industries on 26, but you should be able to locate something.

Of course, there's no place like home, so I feel for you.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#6

Post by seigell »

realflow100 wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:56 am
is my light pollution really bad if the orion constellation and nebula looks the same even when the sky is getting brighter in the morning?
Light Pollution?? I'm sure that you face some amount of LP. But from the various Dark Sky Maps, even Downtown Orangeburg SC is only a Bortle 6 (maybe peaking into 7). Visit Atlanta or Orlando or Tampa or Miami some Night - each is Bortle 8 with Bortle 9 Downtown.
On a good night in Tampa, from Downtown I can visually make out the 3x Belt Stars of Orion but not always Saiph (and forget about the Sword and Nebula). In springtime it is often hard to complete Leo (and Spring is our Crispest Skies).
Or if you want a REAL TREAT, visit NYC or LA or CHI. I worked / lived in each of these Megalopolises, and you usually have to work at it to count more than 30-40 stars in a nighttime sky. I missed Hale-Bopp except for one early morning that I was able to drive up into the San Gabriels.

Does this mean that you are/aren't negatively impacted ?? Of course not.
But, you can do various things to improve your results:
1) Drive out to a Darker Location - SC doesn't have a lot of DARK, but it isn't far to get to Darker...
2) Make sure that your eyes are Dark-Adapted - use a Hoodie or a Towel over your Head (per helicon). Just remember that it takes dedication (about 20 min) to get well-adapted, and only a second to lose it.
3) Set up where Objects (Trees, Side of House, Tall Vehicle, Patio Umbrella) provide blockage of the worst nearby Light Sources...
4) Drive out to a Darker Location...
5) See #4...
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#7

Post by Ylem »

SC is actually a pretty dark state for the East.
There is a lot of private land, so finding a site can be a bit hard.

My club's site is in Taxahaw, SC, but that's pretty far for the OP to travel.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#8

Post by realflow100 »

its way worse than any of you are thinking. Everywhere is FILLED with light pollution and crazy glaring bright streetlights.

the nearest bortle 3 with a full mile radius is like a hundred miles away unless you want to take a boat out to sea.

and by seeing orion nebula. I meant with a telescope only. its not visible with binoculars its much too faint at only 8x magnification.

its this bright EVERYWHERE for like a mile radius. even out in the field there is super bright streetlights at 2 sides of it glaring really brightly.
here is a video showing just how bad it is. my dslr picks up a lot more stars than my eyes see. its much worse in person and you can hardly see like 30 stars total in the night sky
im in orangeburg city. near columbia one of the big cities.

Attachments
oh good lord.png
orion skyscanner 100mm F4 reflector telescope. Canon EOS 500D/rebel-T1i. Also kit lens 18-55mm IS II. ioptron Smartstar E8500R alt-az goto mount and tripod. no EQ mode limited controller options
canon 55-250mm IS II lens.
2x doublet shorty barlow 2 lens elements in 1 group
5x barlow simple 2 lens elements in 2 groups not doublet but image is decently clear
0.5x reducer not really used much.
svbony ultra wide 66 degree eyepiece kit
20mm 15mm 9mm and 6mm
svbony UHC 1.25 filter (Makes stars fainter. but nebula like orion seems to stay about the same brightness. its hard to tell if it improves the view or not. the background sky is dramatically darker but thats about it)
and 1% to 40% variable polaraizer filter ICE broadband lipo filter just seems to make things slightly "cooler" tinted so not sure what its doing. does not have a light wavelength chart.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#9

Post by Ylem »

Several years ago I attended a starparty in Santee State park.

I don't recall if you need a permit though at night.
That might be an option for decent sky.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#10

Post by pakarinen »

These maps are approximations and are probably somewhat outdated, but it looks like you're in a 6. Of course, if you have a neighbor's light shining on you, you might be in a 10. ;)

https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoo ... FFFFFFFFFF

I don't know your particular circumstances, but I've found it helpful to observe after midnight at home, preferably an hour or two before morning astro twilight begins. There are far fewer issues with neighbors' lights being on and such.

I can also see the day coming when I might have to go to EAA if I'm going to hope to see much observing at home. I'd prefer to stay visual, but...
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#11

Post by realflow100 »

Its not neighbors lights problems. its the city/parking lot/road streetlights being extremely bright and excessively too frequent.

when I compare some various bortle level charts to what I can see.
its a straight 9 for sure. Cant see hardly any stars naked eye. and the sky is very desolate and void with binoculars or telescope. only the very brightest stars visible.
orion skyscanner 100mm F4 reflector telescope. Canon EOS 500D/rebel-T1i. Also kit lens 18-55mm IS II. ioptron Smartstar E8500R alt-az goto mount and tripod. no EQ mode limited controller options
canon 55-250mm IS II lens.
2x doublet shorty barlow 2 lens elements in 1 group
5x barlow simple 2 lens elements in 2 groups not doublet but image is decently clear
0.5x reducer not really used much.
svbony ultra wide 66 degree eyepiece kit
20mm 15mm 9mm and 6mm
svbony UHC 1.25 filter (Makes stars fainter. but nebula like orion seems to stay about the same brightness. its hard to tell if it improves the view or not. the background sky is dramatically darker but thats about it)
and 1% to 40% variable polaraizer filter ICE broadband lipo filter just seems to make things slightly "cooler" tinted so not sure what its doing. does not have a light wavelength chart.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#12

Post by kt4hx »

If Orion and its nebula look similar with or without a moon, during the darkest period or as the morning sky is brightening, then yes you have serious LP. You also have to consider the glaring impact from nearby ground lighting that causes lost of contrast and of course serious impact to dark adaptation. If one lives in areas with significant LP, they are never able to attain deep dark adaptation. While all this compromises our ability to observe, it does not make it impossible. We just have to approach it with the knowledge that we are limited in what we can see and how well.

As has been indicated, getting away from that environment is the best of all fixes. Darker skies are the great equalizer and can make up for lack of aperture. For example, my 10 or 12 in dobsonians utilized at our dark site house (typically Bortle 3), can keep pace quite well with my 17.5 inch utilized at our home (typically Bortle 5). That is why I keep the 17.5 inch at the dark site house permanently where it is used to its best advantage.

Of course not everyone has reasonable access to darker skies, but even moving one level on the Bortle scale might seem profound. If that simply is not possible, or the opportunity is not frequent, then one must look for ways to mitigate their circumstances to the extent possible. While you cannot alter the general sky glow from area wide LP, you might be able to help yourself in terms of glaring. Being able to create a dark corner where you observe from that keeps any ground lighting from striking your scope and eyes is a tangible benefit. This will allow you to dark adapt a little deeper and protect valuable contrast through the eyepiece. Some utilize temporary screens with a small tarp, or may wear an eyepatch over the observing eye at all times except when looking through the eyepiece, or drape a dark cloth over the head and eyepiece to shield both from light coming in from the side.

This is not always an easy hobby to pursue. Most of us do not live in areas that are gloriously dark, and thus we have to try and make adjustments that will give us the best fighting chance for success. One thing I can tell you is that once you experience truly dark skies, you will be astounded. :)
Alan

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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#13

Post by Ylem »

You can also make peace with the Moon and planets at home.

I spent a lot of time with the moon at home :) it's amazing the details you can resolve.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#14

Post by kt4hx »

realflow100 wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:22 pm
Its not neighbors lights problems. its the city/parking lot/road streetlights being extremely bright and excessively too frequent.

when I compare some various bortle level charts to what I can see.
its a straight 9 for sure. Cant see hardly any stars naked eye. and the sky is very desolate and void with binoculars or telescope. only the very brightest stars visible.
I have to ask, are you looking at LP maps and/or color levels that purport to represent the Bortle scale, or are you using the criteria actually associated with each Bortle level? In reality the Bortle scale has nothing to do with LP maps. The originator, John Bortle never created a corresponding colored scale or map to correlate his scale with. Rather his methodology is purely descriptive in nature as seen here: https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-r ... sky-scale/

Any attempts to correlate his scale to maps is someone's attempt to meld two different methods for assessing the sky. The maps by their nature are static in presentation using night time satellite images and applying an algorithm that attempts to predict the spread of LP across terrain. Therefore they only give an approximation of what one might expect to find in a broader sense. This does not take into account very localized conditions that might make one place more difficult than one might assume.

The Bortle scale on the other hand is used in real time to assess one's sky in the moment using nothing more than your eyes against a list of criteria for each level. One's Bortle rating can change over the course of an evening as conditions change, whereas the maps stay the same due to their nature. While they both attempt to aid us in ascertaining what are LP levels may be, they do it in different manners and don't reliably cross reference.

As an example, the conditions at our dark site house are typically Bortle 3 utilizing his scale criteria. I have seen it as good as Bortle 2 during superb conditions, and as weak as Bortle 4 to 5 on poorer evenings. I have also seen the sky waffle between adjacent levels while observing due to variations introduced by the prevailing conditions at the time. So in that regard it is a sliding scale that can and will vary, even if only slightly.
Alan

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"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#15

Post by JayTee »

To back up what Alan is saying, here is a direct quote from the creators of the LP maps on lightpollutionmap.info. This is from FAQ question 14. It's a bit contrarian but it does illustrate the point.
14. How do you convert VIIRS data to MPSAS (magnitudes per square arc second) or Bortle scale? What does W/cm2 * sr mean anyway?
W/cm2 * sr is a SI radiometry unit for radiance. Radiance is radiant flux emitted, reflected, transmitted, or received by a surface, per unit solid angle per unit projected area. It sounds complicated, right? Well, that's because it is. Things get a bit more (actually a lot more) complicated if you want to do a simple conversion to MPSAS. I'm not even going to touch the Bortle scale issue because it is a highly subjective scale. Anyway if you are still interested in a "conversion" I can try to explain the problem. Imagine you have a small light source aimed at the sky and this light source gets picked up by the VIIRS detector. The VIIRS detector is monochromatic and has its own spectral response curve. It has no idea of the spectral curve of the light source. MPSAS or more specific magnitude is a measure that is measured in a “specific wavelength or passband”. See the problem? That's one major issue. The other major issue is that light from the light source passes through the atmosphere and while doing this it scatters due to air molecules and aerosols. So you need to create a model of light propagation for the entire Earth taking into account local air conditions, earth curvature, light absorption, Earth terrain, and whatnot. You can read more about it here. If you got the skills to do this and willing to share the result I'll be glad to include it! If not be sure to check the World Atlas (WA 2015) overlay.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#16

Post by realflow100 »

Not talking about maps. just the amount of stars I see corrospond to like a bortle 8 or 9 at least

even seeing the 2 stars by the star called mirach leading to andromeda is nearly impossible unless your somehow able to achieve full dark adaptation. and block the glare from every streetlights in the nearby vicinity.
you cant even see andromeda naked eye at all. its much too faint.
orion skyscanner 100mm F4 reflector telescope. Canon EOS 500D/rebel-T1i. Also kit lens 18-55mm IS II. ioptron Smartstar E8500R alt-az goto mount and tripod. no EQ mode limited controller options
canon 55-250mm IS II lens.
2x doublet shorty barlow 2 lens elements in 1 group
5x barlow simple 2 lens elements in 2 groups not doublet but image is decently clear
0.5x reducer not really used much.
svbony ultra wide 66 degree eyepiece kit
20mm 15mm 9mm and 6mm
svbony UHC 1.25 filter (Makes stars fainter. but nebula like orion seems to stay about the same brightness. its hard to tell if it improves the view or not. the background sky is dramatically darker but thats about it)
and 1% to 40% variable polaraizer filter ICE broadband lipo filter just seems to make things slightly "cooler" tinted so not sure what its doing. does not have a light wavelength chart.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#17

Post by kt4hx »

realflow100 wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:20 am
Not talking about maps. just the amount of stars I see corrospond to like a bortle 8 or 9 at least

even seeing the 2 stars by the star called mirach leading to andromeda is nearly impossible unless your somehow able to achieve full dark adaptation. and block the glare from every streetlights in the nearby vicinity.
you cant even see andromeda naked eye at all. its much too faint.
That is indeed rough, and I am sorry that you are having to labor under such conditions. I live in a typically Bortle 5 location and M31 is visible to the naked eye every clear night unless transparency is really in the toilet. The difference between our primary home and our normally Bortle 3 dark site house in the western part of Virginia is truly exponential. I hope you have an opportunity to experience a darker location.
Alan

Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob || Apertura AD12 f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
ES AR127 f/6.5 & ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II || Apertura 6" f/5 Newtonian on Twilight-I
ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; TV Ethos 100° 13mm; Pentax XW 70° 10mm, 7mm, 5mm + barlows
DGM NPB Filter || Orion Ultra Block, O-III and Sky Glow Filters || Baader HaB Filter
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Astronomers, we look into the past to see our future." (me)
"What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean." (Sir Isaac Newton)
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me...." (Blaise Pascal)
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#18

Post by Refractordude »

The planets when is season, and the moon have a lot to offer.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#19

Post by realflow100 »

No chance of seeing andromeda naked eye at all
even with binoculars or telescope its very faint and hard to detect even with averted vision. its just a small faint fuzzy looking kinda star or dot. only the very central core is visible
orion skyscanner 100mm F4 reflector telescope. Canon EOS 500D/rebel-T1i. Also kit lens 18-55mm IS II. ioptron Smartstar E8500R alt-az goto mount and tripod. no EQ mode limited controller options
canon 55-250mm IS II lens.
2x doublet shorty barlow 2 lens elements in 1 group
5x barlow simple 2 lens elements in 2 groups not doublet but image is decently clear
0.5x reducer not really used much.
svbony ultra wide 66 degree eyepiece kit
20mm 15mm 9mm and 6mm
svbony UHC 1.25 filter (Makes stars fainter. but nebula like orion seems to stay about the same brightness. its hard to tell if it improves the view or not. the background sky is dramatically darker but thats about it)
and 1% to 40% variable polaraizer filter ICE broadband lipo filter just seems to make things slightly "cooler" tinted so not sure what its doing. does not have a light wavelength chart.
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Re: worst light pollution ever?

#20

Post by Lowjiber »

If you're ever in Las Vegas... Stop by some evening. Together, we'll practice counting the thirteen visible stars. :) Of course, we can then drive 100+ miles into the desert for the darkest skies one can ever imagine.

Clear Skies & Stay Safe
John (Urban Astronomer) Apertura AD10 Dob; XLT 150 Dob; XLT 120EQ; Lunt Solar 60 PT/B1200; ES AR102; SW Pro 100ED; 2 SW Pro 80ED's; 90mm Eq; WO Z-61; SW 90mm Virtuso Mak; 2 Orion ST-80's; Quark-C; Cams: ASI120MM-S, ASI174MM & ASI174MM-C
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