Observation by Andrew Jeffries: The scourge of light pollution

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Mr Andrew Jeffries


Andrew Jeffries


2019 May 27 - 20:10


2019 May 27 - 20:26


The Earth

Planetarium overlay



Field centre

RA: 05h15m
Dec: +01°13'
Position angle: +9°42'

Field size

40° × 20°

  • Canon EOS 6D
  • DIY barn door tracker

30s f4.5 iso800 using a 24-105 lens


East wales and West Wales

Target name



The scourge of light pollution

About this image

I have always known that I live, like many others in a light polluted part of the world here in South East Wales.  It was not until a week in West Wales in March that I was able to make a direct comparison.  West Wales is the image on the left East Wales on the right.

Below me in West Wales was Fishguard.  In East Wales I have Newport and Cardiff.  The difference is stark.  I know I am stating the obvious to many but for newcomers they may not really appreciate the difference a really dark sky can make.  The night sky in West Wales was as black as coal and the stars shone like diamonds.

With a bit of processing I was able to pick out not just M42 but the flame nebula and the rose nebula in the shot from West Wales - no chance in the East Wales shot.

I am looking forward to a return visit in better weather conditions as the West Wales shot was taken in a 30mph wind after a stormy day.  Not the best way to take a 30s exposure but at least I had found some shelter for a brief time.

As an aside to this story I have a street light at the back of my house which was shining into my garden and was a real nuisance when at the telescope.  I rang the Council to see if they would fit a skirt to block the light.  A few months later the light was turned off and has not been turned back on.  I say this for all those out there in similar circumstances.  It's worth speaking to the Local Council about such things.


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