Revisiting Naked Eye Limiting Magnitude

Back in March I tried checking stars in Usra Major to get an idea of the naked eye limiting magnitude (NELM) for my home. The seeing wasn’t great that night, but I obtained a figure of 5.55 for NELM. Earlier this week I was out and whilst there is no true astronomical darkness at the moment the seeing was pretty good so at the end of the evening (about 2am) I repeated the test.

This time “star 11” between ηUMi and ζUMi was visible with direct vision suggesting an NELM figure for that night of 5.70 which I think is quite exceptional under the circumstances.

I look forward to the opportunity to try the test again when the seeing is good and the sky is genuinely dark.

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