Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

A place to discuss the dreaded orange glow

Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby Graham Southorn » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:36 pm

It's one of the biggest problems facing amateur astronomers - the glow that comes from streetlights, built-up areas and ill-considered security measures. This is your chance to tell us the good and the bad that you've encountered so far. There's certainly a lot of lighting out there, but not all of it is bad. Some enlightened councils and businesses are replacing indiscriminate lighting with lights that point down instead of up. And some lighting is undoubtedly necessary, for security in dangerous areas.

So let us have your experiences - both good and bad. Here's one thing to remember, though - don't make personal attacks on anybody. If you are frustrated by your neighbours' lights, be sure that you don't mention them by name or otherwise identify them, for example with a house number - otherwise your comments may be construed as libel.

Finally, please post photos if you have them - it'll help everybody to see the problems you face in observing the night sky.

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RE: Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby drechana » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:46 pm


My garden faces north and backs onto more gardens and the road in front of them has new sodium free lighting so all good you might think.

Wrong, the guy over the back has a security light that is so bright you could light up middle africa with it and everytime so much as a snail moves, on it goes...it really gets on my nerves as I dont get out that much as I dont have transport. Why on earth he needs one that bright god only knows, it has woken my girlfreind up before now.

Some people just dont think.

Grrrr
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RE: Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby lukeskywatcher » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:50 pm

My backgarden faces East (the Irish Sea is about 2 miles away). I have pretty tall evergreens (maybe 50-60 ft tall) at the end between my house and the house behind. Security light on house behind peeps through a gap in trees lighting up my garden and back of my house. It goes off often and stays on for upto 10 mins each time. My view South is a waste of time as there are no trees there and lots of houses in that direction and also a main dual carraigeway a couple of miles away which make sure the sky remains a lovely shade of orange in that direction. I dont really have a view West because my house is in the way. My view North is really nothing to write home about. The main obstructions are VERY tall trees in the garden of one of my neighbours gardens and a security light on the house across the road shines up my driveway and into my garden. That light is left on all night most nights.

I'll try to find a picture on file taken while pointing camera in each direction. In general i can not take exposures of more then 8-10 seconds before skyglow becomes very visible in images.

I ordered a SW PL filter online a couple of days ago and it should arrive tomorrow. It will be very interesting to see what difference if ANY it makes. Dont get me wrong.......i dont by any means of the word think i am plagued by LP. I've seen some sorry sorry images of where other people live (Poor Astro Baby). I've lived here 26 yrs and never known any different..............except that one time i was actually at a DARK site.

Now if you want to talk about dew problems................i'm your man. Its worse here in the summer then it is in winter. I have had to teach my astro gear how to swim because the dew along the east coast is sooo bad during spring/summer.

I have included an image of my south view because it is the one direction that is REALLY messed up by LP
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RE: Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby lukeskywatcher » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:06 pm

Here's an image looking East:

[image]local://3292/78076B3321C34FEE98DD7FC7AA6AF072.jpg[/image]
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RE: Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby lukeskywatcher » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:06 pm

Here's one more. This is pointing my camera directly upwards towards Zenith.

[image]local://3292/06166C4B01564CEDA1B0E15346184E5C.jpg[/image]
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RE: Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby drechana » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:06 pm

See what you mean luke, thats some harsh LP.

Cant look south out of mine cause of a dual carriage way behind my road and my road has nice oppressive orange lighting as well.

When I am rich I will go buy a farmhouse in the middle of no where and invite you all to use my back garden. It will be perched quite high on a hill and have horizon views for 360 degrees and be darker than the background of this website :O)


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RE: Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby bajr » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:36 pm

Norfolk council is about to introduce a sheme whereby many sreet lights will be turned off between the hours of twelve and 5am. Sheringham where i live will actually have very few lights on between these hours. This will save Norfolk an estimated £250,000 a year.


Brian
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RE: Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby brianb » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:26 pm

[quote]When I am rich I will go buy a farmhouse in the middle of no where and invite you all to use my back garden. It will be perched quite high on a hill and have horizon views for 360 degrees and be darker than the background of this website :O)
[/quote]
I believe the Atacama Desert in Chile is quite good on all counts except for farming ... no rain therefore nothing grows.
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RE: Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby pilp » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:26 pm

Im fortunate to live in the middle of nowhere, on top of a very big hill! Im sorry if this upsets some of you who suffer badly with LP[:D][:D]
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RE: Light pollution - the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby drechana » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:53 pm

Put the kettle on then Pilp lol


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