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Stargazing Star gazing with light pollution

  1. Aug 20, 2010 #1
    Guess this is for those who have a clear sky overhead. As it is the glare and pollution don't let more than a few stars shine through where I'm at.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2010 #2

    russ_watters

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    Where is that? Because I'm near Philadelphia and though the light pollution is pretty bad, a decent telescope will cut through it.
     
  4. Aug 21, 2010 #3
    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?


    In the Harrisburg metropolitan area. I wasn't aware that a good telescope can cut through the glare and smog. How does it do that?
     
  5. Aug 22, 2010 #4

    George Jones

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    City viewing of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn is quite good. Viewing of deep sky objects is affected by light pollution, but the size of the telescope can compensate partially. There is a(n) (untrue) myth that large telescopes shouldn't be used in the city because they gather more of the light pollution than smaller scopes. This myth is addressed on page 15 of The Urban Astronomer`s Guide by Rod Mollise,

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=Z0m...&resnum=3&ved=0CBAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2010 #5

    russ_watters

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    I'm 24 miles from dead-center in Philadelphia and the population density is pretty high everywhere in SE PA - you can see what I have been able to do from my website. How far are you from Harrisburg?

    I don't do much visual observing, so I can't say much about how galaxies look with your eyes through a scope, but the basic principle for photography is this: Light pollution brightens the entire image, including the object you are imaging. So using Photoshop, you can simply subtract this extra brightness from the image. It isn't perfect, but you can do a surprising amount of good photography from near a city.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2010 #6

    turbo

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    Re: Planning to buy a first telescope?

    You may surprised to learn that temperature inversions over cities can provide very steady viewing for planetary targets. Some of my steadiest views of Jupiter came from my suburban back yard.
     
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