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Thursday, May 21, 2009

How to block the light pollution

This is the neodymium based 2" skyglow filter of Baader Planetarium. It's a good solution against the heavy light pollution of our suburban skies. I permanently use it for deep sky observations in Stuttgart(!) on my 21cm (f/11.5) DK cassegrain telescope with a 40mm eyepiece at a magnification of 60x (eye pupile 3.5mm). The Moon and Sky Glow Neodymium Filter does not affect the color of the stars. It also filters out the IR light. That's a useful piece of hardware.
Yesterday, I observed several deep sky objects in the galactic plane of the Milky Way using this filter:
  • M57 in Lyra: I clearly saw a ring of smoke. Really.
  • M56 in Lyra: a small globular cluster 30000 light years away.
  • NGC6871 in Cygnus: a small open cluster
  • NGC6888 in Cygnus: The cresent nebula. Yes, I saw its nebulosity.
  • M27 in Vulpecula: what a fantastic view! The sky background was black.
  • M71 in Sagitta Not as good as last year, because its altitude was too low.
  • NGC6905 in Dolphin: a small planetary nebula
  • M29: an open cluster in Cygnus
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