Less than Transparent Skies

The growing dilema in amateur astronomy is light pollution and other related sources.  In the mid city, forget about all of the NGC’s or IC’s you’ll be lucky to see all of the Messiers.  I have faced this problem everytime I go out with my telescope.  The LA county fair is in full swing right now, and that pretty much rules out the entire southern sky.

I don’t have any problem with the fair, it’s just that it turns an already not transparent sky into something that can’t be described without seeing it firsthand.  If you live far away in the country, you don’t have much problem with this.

Anyway, I am finishing up the Mesier project, 70 objects are very close now! I need only about 15 more Messiers, but this is hardly any compared to how many I have observed.  Pretty much all of these were observed in town, in badly polluted skies.  Before going out with the telescope, I look at the color of the daytime sky.  If it is a deep blue, it will be a decent night.  However, if it is pale blue and the area above the horizon is a dirty smog color, it will not be worth going out for deep sky.  I have been limited to planets and the moon on nights like that.

I can’t wait to see dark skies, even acceptably dark sites like Mount Baldy are well worth the trip.  By the way, the blog appearence and theme has been changing a lot lately and I have finally found a look that I am satisfied with.  I haven’t observed too much as school is really in full swing now.  I have also been blogging less, like one to two posts a week.

If you ever get the chance to pull the trigger on one of Astro league, programs, it is HIGHLY reccomended you start one.  Mesier one is awesome for learning and taking notes on these bright and detailed astronomical objects.

Clear Skies

4 thoughts on “Less than Transparent Skies

  1. Justin, I remember as a young boy, being able to see the Milky Way in bright detail…and that was only 40+ miles east of where you are. I doubt that we’ll ever get back to those kinds of skies, well not in my lifetime, but hopefully in yours.
    As for your Messier object project…I’m at that point where I have to wait until Feb. 2013 for the remaining objects to be high enough in the sky to capture an image. 89 observed and imaged, 21 to go.

    Howard Maculsay PVAA

    • Hi Howard,

      Are you doing all the Messiers for Astronomical League? I have a list to finish mine, but I am not sure if I can do it. Some of the objects are in Ursa Majior, and I need to get up to dark skies quick to snag the rest of them.

      • Justin, no not doing the Astro League at this point. Just starting to look into it. I’m not sure my buying time on Telescopes qualifies me to enter. I have a list of 21 Messier Objects to go…I have reserved telescope time tonite for M50, M55, & M79.

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