Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Light Pollution

Following my last post I bought a light pollution filter (Meade £19.99) to aid my visuals. I know I'm a tad naive but I thought this would enable me to see the heavens in a whole different light; clear definition of Andromeda and images of Jupiter so close I could choke on the gas clouds.

It didn't.

What it did do was get me to look at other objects such as double stars. My first was Mizar and Alcor (incidentally it was also the first discovered) and is located as the middle star of The Ploughs handle. This then led me to the doubles in Cassiopeia which in turn led me to the clusters in Cassiopeia. Definitely worth checking out if you have access to a dark enough sky.

Now I'm not stating that the filter was bad, I just didn't have realistic expectations. What the filter has done is produce much more definition in the cloud bands on Jupiter, I think Andromeda is a little clearer and I was able to see the Pleiades which is ENE at the moment and usually a no go area for me due to the orange of Sheffield's lights. It has also made my viewing of the moon more of a pleasure as well as it has toned down it's brightness.

All in all it was a good buy as it got me looking at different things. Filters, like eyepieces, vary in price enormously and expectations should be in line with what you can afford.

My next purchase will be an 15mm eyepiece which I hope would enable me to see eruptions on Io and craters on Ganymede, on the other hand I'm not holding my breath!

Al

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