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Large aperture and light pollution

Started by Paultricounty, 09/02/2002 07:51PM
Posted 09/02/2002 07:51PM Opening Post
I read on the astronomics website they don’t recommend Schmidt cassegrain or any scopes of 10” or more of aperture due to light pollution. I quote part of the description of a Meade 10” Schmidt cassegrain.

<“But keep in mind that a 10" scope really should have dark and steady skies to take full advantage of its extra performance. It’s not a scope that’s happy in a light-polluted city or suburban observing environment. <

How much merit does this statement have?


Are we observers in light polluted areas limited to smaller aperture scopes? Are we wasting money going for 10” or more of aperture?

I have been reading allot about aperture, aperture, and aperture. It seems their are some differing views in this area. I have been going back and forth on a decision on buying a large scope, living in light polluted skies. I own an 8” dob a 4” semi apo and a 5” mak. I do not notice breathtaking differences in these three scopes. There was an article in Astronomy or Sky&Telescope magazine not long ago, I think it was called myths of astronomy, or ten Astronomy myths. In this article it stated that one myth, was a large scope will magnify the sky glow.

Any and all help and thoughts on this topic will be greatly appreciated.

Posted 09/02/2002 08:09PM #1
Oooh boy here we go again.
Anything you can see in one of your smaller scopes will benifit from more aperture. Now, if you are trying to find an object thats surface brightness is below the sky's backround brightness then no amount of aperture, or lack of will help ya. Now some will argue that a larger scope will not be as contrasty as a smaller one in the same light polluted sky. Well I guess that is all based on personal preference. I'll take the brighter and more detailed image of the larger aperture over the smaller one any day.

Flame suit on, Robert W.

There's no substitute for fine glass!
Posted 09/03/2002 07:06AM #2
I agree with more aperature. You can always add a light pollution filter and get more contrast due to a larger scope. True, a big scope does so much better in dark skies, but is still outperforms smaller ones in poor skies.
I overlook the car dealers from h*ll at night to the south.
My 12" sct is an improvement over my 10" that I traded, even with the skyglow that almost allows me to read a book.

Besides, why do we buy Corvettes when the speed limit is only 65MPH?