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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old February 5 2013, 04:05 PM   #1
hxclespaulplayer
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How bad is my light pollution?

I'm meant to be around a 6 on the Bortle scale:

(right in the middle there) The problem is, this thing below gives off a LOT of light pollution which probably makes half the sky at least a 7 or 8:

And this is the result, from a couple of miles away:


I believe this is meant to be Orion:


And a bit of what I think is the Milky Way overhead. This looks far, far worse than what a 6 should be on the bortle scale:


These were all taken with a 15 second exposure, so there are probably some stars in there that I couldn't actually see with the naked eye. I actually wonder how useful the bortle scale is if I'm not using a telescope or binoculars?
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Old February 5 2013, 05:01 PM   #2
Asbo Zaprudder
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Location: Sand in the Vaseline
Re: How bad is my light pollution?

Hobart, Taz, correct? It looks more like 7 or 8 to me as well. I expect that the maps at http://www.inquinamentoluminoso.it/w...pages/fig1.htm might show averages over quite a wide area or are out of date. The Mount Canopus telescope is apparently going to have to be moved because of light pollution:

http://www.phys.utas.edu.au/physics/...servatory.html
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Old February 5 2013, 05:47 PM   #3
hxclespaulplayer
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Re: How bad is my light pollution?

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
Hobart, Taz, correct? It looks more like 7 or 8 to me as well. I expect that the maps at http://www.inquinamentoluminoso.it/w...pages/fig1.htm might show averages over quite a wide area or are out of date.
Correct. While not much has changed here since the scale was invented in 2001, I guess the inner-city area is simply too small to have a patch of red or white on there.

Is there any way of finding a dark sky site (I'd be satisfied with a 3) without having to travel for miles and miles? And would a 3 or under even be that much different to the naked eye?
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Old February 5 2013, 10:08 PM   #4
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: How bad is my light pollution?

Not really, perhaps there is a country valley nearby where the hills offer some shelter - try asking local astronomy societies. And yes, 3 would be noticeably better. There are filters you can buy to block the Sodium and Mercury emission lines from street lights, but if professional astronomers are having to get out of town then I guess you'll have to as well. Alternatively, lobby the local politicians to institute anti-light pollution measures -- the success of that depending on how redneck they are. A selling point might be to combine the measure with reducing carbon emissions, but it might require the powers that be to be sympathetic in the first place to environmental lobbying. If, as I suspect, Tasmania is largely dependent on hydroelectric generation, one might argue that the additional surplus could be sold to the mainland for profit.
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Old February 5 2013, 11:13 PM   #5
gturner
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Re: How bad is my light pollution?

It would be simpler to host a Beyonce concert which would knock out the city's power.
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Old February 6 2013, 12:47 AM   #6
scotpens
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Re: How bad is my light pollution?

Hell, here in Los Angeles, you can barely see any stars at all in the night sky. Even Griffith Observatory is useless for scientific astronomy.

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
. . . Alternatively, lobby the local politicians to institute anti-light pollution measures -- the success of that depending on how redneck they are.
In that context, is being a "redneck" bad or good?
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Old February 6 2013, 11:23 AM   #7
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: How bad is my light pollution?

scotpens wrote: View Post
Hell, here in Los Angeles, you can barely see any stars at all in the night sky. Even Griffith Observatory is useless for scientific astronomy.

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
. . . Alternatively, lobby the local politicians to institute anti-light pollution measures -- the success of that depending on how redneck they are.
In that context, is being a "redneck" bad or good?
If they condescended to listen at all, a redneck politician would likely only take you seriously if money were likely to end up in their pocket or they could improve their chance of reelection. However, this isn't the Neutral Zone, so perhaps let's not go any further.
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Old February 6 2013, 05:30 PM   #8
hxclespaulplayer
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Re: How bad is my light pollution?

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
Hobart, Taz, correct? It looks more like 7 or 8 to me as well. I expect that the maps at http://www.inquinamentoluminoso.it/w...pages/fig1.htm might show averages over quite a wide area or are out of date. The Mount Canopus telescope is apparently going to have to be moved because of light pollution:

http://www.phys.utas.edu.au/physics/...servatory.html
Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
Hell, here in Los Angeles, you can barely see any stars at all in the night sky. Even Griffith Observatory is useless for scientific astronomy.

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
. . . Alternatively, lobby the local politicians to institute anti-light pollution measures -- the success of that depending on how redneck they are.
In that context, is being a "redneck" bad or good?
If they condescended to listen at all, a redneck politician would likely only take you seriously if money were likely to end up in their pocket or they could improve their chance of reelection. However, this isn't the Neutral Zone, so perhaps let's not go any further.
40% of our state is out-of-bounds for development as it's world heritage area, and the green party was given birth here. We basically have no industry left and the lack of development has the effect of being stuck in a time warp. I can imagine anti-light pollution ordinances could be pushed through without much difficulty at all.
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Old February 6 2013, 05:46 PM   #9
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: How bad is my light pollution?

hxclespaulplayer wrote: View Post
40% of our state is out-of-bounds for development as it's world heritage area, and the green party was given birth here. We basically have no industry left and the lack of development has the effect of being stuck in a time warp. I can imagine anti-light pollution ordinances could be pushed through without much difficulty at all.
I admit I have absolutely no knowledge of Tasmanian politics being 18,000 km away. Perhaps it would be worth lobbying in that case. People who never get to see the glory of the night sky are deprived in my opinion.
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Old February 6 2013, 06:30 PM   #10
SmoothieX
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Re: How bad is my light pollution?

to the OP: I'm assuming wherever you live with all the glare there, that they have never heard of full-cutoff fixtures?
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