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How to Fix Light Pollution Problems With Your Telescope

Oct 6, 2007
If you are a serious astronomy nut, you know the single most challenging aspect of star gazing is light pollution. With most of the population living in and near major cities, finding a nice piece of sky with little light pollution is getting more and more challenging. However, there are things the star-gazer can do to limit the effects of too much light and fully enjoy the beauty of the heavens. Let's address what light pollution is, what types there are, and what you can do to solve the problems caused by them.

One type of light pollution is undesirable illumination caused by too much artificial light in your field of view, usually created by badly directed light fixtures. This can come from street lights, your neighbor's security lights, etc. Think of it this way, have you ever been blinded by an on-coming car with crooked headlights? Instead of lighting up the road, these misdirected light sources brighten up your car. Same idea. The only fix for this is to move to another location, away from the offending source. The good news is you only have to change your immediate location, like moving a block away.

Another type of light pollution is a general glow in the sky. This is the sum total of all of the lighting in the area of a city. While this type of light seems difficult to overcome, it is actually the kind to more simply fix - light pollution filters. Simply put, they serve to filter the "bad" light out and let the "good" light some through. There are three types of light pollution filters: line filters, narrowband, and broadband.

So which one should you buy? Well, to give you a straight answer...it depends. If you live in a highly populated area, you may want to give serious consideration to purchasing a broadband filter. For those who would do well to buy a narrowband or line filter, it depends on what you want to view. Those interested in the details of celestial bodies should seriously consider buying one of these types.

There is little question as to whether light pollution is a problem for the serious backyard astronomer. The good news is that solutions abound, whether you just need to move your telescope or you need to solve the bigger problem with a light pollution filter. There are numerous brands to choose from - Celestron, Meade, and Orion to name just a few. Just knowing that solutions exist can make your viewing experience much less bothersome. Take your time, figure out where you will view the sky, and what you are looking for prior to making your purchase.
About the Author
Doug Garrett is a writer for a Celestron Telescope Review site where you can find a review of the top selling Celestron 9.25 telescopes, the premium Celestron NexStar Telescope series, and others. If you are looking to compare the latest offerings in telescope technology, please visit best-telescope-reviews.com right now.
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