This is a one minute exposure of the sky taken from the car park at Hauxley Nature Reserve, the meeting place of NASTRO. It was taken with my Nikon D80 at ISO1600 and a fisheye lens. The major sources of light pollution are towards the south and west and is the combined lights of Ashington, Blyth, Cramlington and Newcastle. Towards the west and southwest are the villages of Broomhill, Togston, Red Row and Hadston. Lights from a caravan park shine through the trees to the east. The town of Amble is towards the north.
It actually looks a lot darker in reality than the camera suggests! The Milky Way is very prominent at this time of the year and the light pollution only seems to be a problem near the horizon. But the camera doesn't lie. The atmosphere scatters the yellow/orange light from towns and cities very effectively and long exposure images rapidly develop an orange background.
NASTRO was given a little bit of funding earlier in the year to purchase a Sky Quality Meter to measure sky brightness. The average of three readings last night was 20.9 magnitudes per square arcsecond. For a feel of what this is like compared to other locations see the Bortle Scale descriptions; Hauxley Nature reserve corresponds roughly to Class 4 "Rural/Suburban transition".
Dr Adrian Jannetta
Guitar strummin' explorer of the universe. Mild mannered maths teacher by day and astronomer by night.