Sky at Night

Astronomically-related chat

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mike a feist
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Sky at Night

Post by mike a feist »

I watched the episode for April in the London Park (for PM's 88th birthday) and I thought it the most enjoyable for some-time. We did not see much sky - not unusual .....the historical George Hole episode came to mind.... but it was about being outside with different instruments from binoculars to a large Dobs. The "Baker Street Irregulars" really does seem to be the "way to go" (in my opinion) and I commend their "well yes there is a lot of light pollution but you can work with and around it"......
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brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Surely Mike, the way to go, at any rate in the long term, is to reduce London's light pollution.
I don't watch "Sky at Night" these days and for the simple reason that astronomy takes a back seat on the programme. Some people don't know when to give up and make room for others.
Last edited by brian livesey on Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Paul Sutherland
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Post by Paul Sutherland »

brian livesey wrote:I don't watch "Sky at Night" and for the simple reason that astronomy takes a back seat on the programme. If you know what I mean .. .
Just out of interest, how do you know this if you don't watch it?

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Tim Chamberlain
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Post by Tim Chamberlain »

I've not seen the programme referred to, but I went to my first meeting of the Baker Street Irregulars last week as this is my "local" society. We didn't see much that night either as there was too much cloud - just a few prominent stars in a brief gap. There was a good crowd who turned up of all ages. I think it's a brilliant and very generous idea of the organisers as it's totally free.

For those who are interested here's a link for more info:

http://www.bakerstreetastro.org.uk/about/
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Mike, Brian and Paul
I watched the "extended" version of Sky at Night (last night) and thoroughly enjoyed it. If I remember correctly most of the outdoors bit was in Regents Park. I thought there was a nice mix of serious astronomy and fun in celebrating Sir Patrick's 88th Birthday.
I wouldn't like to admit to how many of the 88 constellations I don't know (?).
My only gripe was the Baker Street astronomers seem to meet outside a brightly lit very modern building (I thought it might be a tea room ?) but I didn't notice anyone inside. I wouldn't be surprised if BBC TV producers requested that the "tea room" lights should be put on to make the scenes look more attractive for viewers. Whatever the reasons for the brightly lit "tearoom" being prominently shown I thought it ironic it should be so prominent on an astronomical programme when light pollution was actually discussed.
I agee with Mike's comments about it being a good thing to encourage doing observing even for those harassed by light pollution but I'm not sure what message is sent out by showing a brightly lit and apparently empty tea room on a Sky at Night programme (?).
Best wishes from Cliff
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Post by Tim Chamberlain »

Dear Cliff,

The tearoom you mention (The Hub) is usually closed during normal BSIA meetings and so is normally completely dark. On this occasion I believe it was open as it was required by the TV crew (facilities, power etc).

Regards,

Tim
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Tim
Thanks for your response.
As I felt sure they would !
In the days when I visited dark sky sites to get away from light pollution I used to take a thermos flask for a much enjoyed hot drink.
Why the TV crew should need the tea room lights on throughout the programme is a puzzle to me, once they'd made their essential electrical connections I suspect they could have switched the lights off.
The problem is that the TV have many lighting staff on there staff and just like the lighting industry in general they have no real concern about light pollution at all.
I understand the electrical equipment giant Philips held a lighting competion recently (maybe still ongoing ?).
I saw an item\advert in New Scientist about it a few months ago.
The competition seems to be to encourage the more economic better lighting there was no mention of reducing the level of artificial night lighting, reducing "light glare" was mentioned but there was no mention to light pollution at all. They even mentioned the desirability of increasing light levels to enble people to be identified.
What a joke I doubt if the average person can identify one in a hundred people they see in a city street in broad daylight.
Serious light glare is one of te very few things that potentially might bug the lighting fraternity because it is it can and does cause accidents.
I worked as a highway engineer for 40 years.
The lighting industry as considerable influence with respect to highways, the theatre, TV and films and advertising - don't be fooled by the excuses for providing ever more lighting.
Best wishes from Cliff
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Post by mark_smith »

I watched this episode and thought it was great that the light pollution didn’t stop them enjoying and spreading the interest of astronomy good on you guys keep up the good work.

Mark
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jb1970
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Post by jb1970 »

I enjoyed it too. Good to see other people getting out despite terrible light pollution. It always makes me laugh when you read about DSO's, comets etc being visible to the naked eye or in binoculars. How many people are observing from truly dark sites these days where mag 6 is realistic to see unaided.

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Post by Andyjasper »

Really enjoyed this months also. It was good to see some of the telescopes being discussed and with the discussions on favourite constellations and current things to see in the sky, it was really interesting. I am glad I Sky +'d it as my 11 yr old son found it a lot easier and more interesting than the Wonders of the Universe which was a bit too complex for him.
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