I just sold my beloved 203mm SCT so that I can get a tiny scope to piggyback on the 90mm. Had to do it, the system is too heavy with the SCT to keep carrying in and out of the house every time there is a rain shower + light pollution is increasing dramatically around here.

I don’t know what’s going on but our NELM is now 4.0 on the clearest of nights and much much worse otherwise! You’d swear we’re in the middle of London. That’s bright enough for me to setup without a torch! Just forget about even trying to see galaxies other than M82 and M31. Most Nebulae are now out of reach of an 8 incher here. Even the Ring, though I had no problem finding this whenever I wanted last year.

The reason for the poor skies? It seems that everyone is putting up 500 Watt security lights + the Bal bar in Salthill have put up to massive spotlights that light up a huge swathe of sky for a mile. So much for the Irish caring about the environment, energy conservation and wildlife.

Time to write to the council methinks. The issue here is that although Ireland is said to be the environment’s friend that there are simply no laws in place to prevent light pollution. Even the EPA only has a very vague guideline in place.

Oh well, the only thing to do is give up visual observation completely and concentrate on imaging

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