Light pollution in the Warrington Area

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Light pollution in the Warrington Area

Postby JimBazz » Tue May 19, 2015 9:44 pm

Hi,
I was wondering whether any one else in this area of Cheshire has this problem. I can see the centres of galaxies like m81 but cant see the spiral arms. I can see 82 clearly and the divisions in galaxy's disrupted centre which is supposed to be harder to see. I have a feeling its to do with the surface brightness of arms being lower than the surface brightness of the sky. Is there any where I can look up a more comprehensive table of surface brightness that gives more detail than just one surface brightness figure for a galaxy which clearly has a great variation of surface brightnesses across the whole galaxy. Magnitudes I find only give an indication to whether you can find the galaxy at all. I'm getting the impression the sky here has a surface brightness of arround 12.5 or brighter I know dark sky sites are supposed to be better than 20. Street lighting is a problem since it shines into my back garden but this tends to mess up my ability to adjust my eyes to the dark rather than interfering directly to lighting the sky. I knew galaxies were always going to be a problem but i didn't realize how big a one. Are there any plans in the uk to provide periods of total darkness when street lighting would be turned off for a couple of hours or where public lighting has to be directed towards the ground? I know in other countries this is happening. Thanks for any advice.
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Re: Light pollution in the Warrington Area

Postby voyager » Wed May 20, 2015 11:29 am

The street-lighting policy is down to the local council. As long as it complies with road-safety standards, they determine how much to spend and what fixtures to use. Some councils are powering-off lights at night to save energy, whereas other councils are applying the "Save to Invest" concept to save energy by replacing existing fixtures with LED-based lights. I believe Warrington Council are using the latter, which could mean lower or greater light-pollution, depending on how they install it. The LED fixtures don't send light into the sky (good) but more light is reflected off the road into the sky (bad).
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Re: Light pollution in the Warrington Area

Postby david48 » Mon May 25, 2015 6:55 pm

JimBazz wrote:Hi,
Are there any plans in the uk to provide periods of total darkness when street lighting would be turned off for a couple of hours or where public lighting has to be directed towards the ground? I know in other countries this is happening. Thanks for any advice.

Jim, I agree with your thoughts.

When street lights are turned off, the view of the stars can be amazing. I remember that in the town I grew up in - Grantham, Lincolnshire - the street lights were all turned off at about midnight.

This extinguishing of street lights, allowed the most impressive views of the stars that I have ever seen. The constellations were visible in every detail. Even down to the minor stars. And the major stars, like Sirius, flashed and sparkled gloriously! And meteors and fireballs could be seen.

But nowadays you can only get such views in Britain, if you go to remote parts of the country such as Cornwall.
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