Observing Tips for Light Polluted Skies

If you live in a city or town it is likely that your night sky is washed out by the orange haze of street lights. But even if only the brightest stars are visible on a clear night, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy astronomy through a telescope.

For town and city astronomers the best objects through a telescope are

The Moon: See craters, mountains, ancient lava fields, extinct volcanic domes, valleys, ray systems, craters filled with lava, Apollo landing sites

Planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all show features visible from light polluted locations. You’l also be able to detect Neptune and Uranus if you know were to look!

Double Stars: Thousands of double stars, including coloured pairings of green, gold and blue are visible from town and city locations through a telescope. You could even measure the Position Angle and Separation of pairs that change over periods of a few years.

Globular Clusters: Globulars are bright round masses containing hundreds of thousands of stars all bunched together. Many globulars are bright enough to be visible from town and city locations. With high magnifications and some steady air you’ll be able to resolve individual stars in these impressive clusters.

Open Star Clusters: There are hundreds of bright open clusters that are easy to see with a telescope even in severely light polluted locations. Most star clusters are concentrated along the band of the Milky Way. You might not be able to see the Milky Way itself from your location, but you’ll still be able to pick out the star clusters if you know where to look in the summer and winter sky.

A Note About the Moon

The moon is (of course) the brightest object in the night sky. Trying to pick out star clusters and globular clusters is more difficult when the moon is up above the horizon. Even from a dark sky location the moon will drown out all but the brighter objects in the sky. If you’re looking for faint objects its therefore best to look for them before moonrise or after the moon has set.

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HOW TO FIND US

We are located on the High Street (A5120) in Toddington close to Jct 12 of the M1. From the motorway head up the hill into Toddington. The road bears left at the Church. Continue along the road past the shops on your right. We are 100 yards or so up on the left. SAT NAV - LU5 6BX

CONTACT INFORMATION

Dark Sky Telescope Hire
41 High Street
Toddington
Dunstable
Bedfordshire
LU5 6BX
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Email: info@darkskytelescopehire.co.uk
Phone: 07884 001815

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