Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers

Viewing Distance

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Deleted member 62150

Hello, fellow lovers and users of laser pointer and laser tech. I am Miyakutsune aka Miya. I am new here and thought I'd say both hello and ask my first question on here. So I hope you guys and galls alike can help me out.

I live in the country side and have recently acquired a single watt blue laser pointer from amazon.com. Not it does burn stuff, like wood by making a burn Mark and making it smoke instantly as well as light matches and firework fuses.

As I love pointing it at stars, there is a dual lane road in front my trailer that is always busy with cars, but there are no street lights at all out here so it's really dark.

My question is this

(How many miles away on land can a blue laser pointer be seen if I point it at the sky?)
Let me explain.

If a person is a few miles down the road, and I'm shining my laser into the very dark sky, can they see the beam going straight up message away if they look in my direction?

I always wondered who can see it besides me.

Now I am seriously safe with it, if I see or hear a plane, I won't shine it untill their outta sight again far away. I also search the sky ruthlessly for jet lights or anything jets leave or related to them before I shine it. Id rather it brake and become trash before I even hit a plane by an accident.

Anyway, any help anyone can provide, I will be very, grateful.
And I hope that every member of this forum, their friend and their families are all safe and doing well in this time of crisis.


Well-known member
Mar 27, 2013
Hi Miya,

Welcome to the forum! To answer your question, if it is very dark where you live in the countryside (no light pollution), I would think that people a few miles away will be able to see your laser when you shine it into the sky. I know that on the beach at night I've had people that were on the other end of the beach tell me that they could see my lasers quite clearly. As long as there is no street lights/city lights etc., I would think that people miles away will be able to see it

Also, I hope you have laser goggles - 1W of laser light could permanently damage your eyes just by looking at the dot too closely! Better to be safe than sorry if you're going to be burning things. Something like this would work perfectly: https://www.survivallaserusa.com/Ea...rd_Laser_Safety_Goggles/p1667092_7862033.aspx

Hope this helps!


Well-known member
Apr 2, 2009
Great that you want to be careful..
Laser beams look 'brightest' when they are coming at you;\.
Followed by beams coming at you from behind.
and least bright are beams viewed from the side.
Of course particulates- dust-fog-haze(rs) etc are a big factor.
Sadly many people (especially the elderly) are frightened by anything they know little about.
They are quick to call 911 etc. And the police are obligated to investigate.
Your chances of encountering go down as the time of day factors in. Old folks go to bed early.

This might be a good idea: have a friend control your laser and drive away stopping at increasing distances...
like 1/4 mile- `1/2 etc. It may be easier if you both are connected by cell phones. They should aim your laser in many directions, not just straight up (at stars). Your may be surprised that it looks pretty n harmless in most directions.

At common altitudes, aircraft is not effected or in many cases the laser is not even noticed.
IN the USA any lasers at night are not permitted within 10 miles of any airports- police & hospital heli- pads.
IMHO any lasering any where near any flying heli is asking for trouble.-- that is quite common-- Airplanes cannot get a direct hit once they are only at low altitude.. The cockpit windows will block any view of any laser once well off the ground.
IF someone really wanted to cause problems with a jet, they would need to have the laser on a tripod and they would need a powerful laser too... and need to be very close to the airport. AND as said from the side most pilots would not be hindered. BUT in USA they are required to report any laser that they see-- some will not bother reporting while those with many problems involving lasers will report every one they see.

Pat Murphy has an excellent website with tons of info--every member needs to go there are READ,
I have a link in my sig. For sure we NEVER want to read anything bad happening with a LPF member.
One couple wanted to see the their green laser dot could be sent on a heli & they both tried.
The heli was a 'life-flight' & the pi,lot reported this to the police and quickly another heli was there.

AND they shined the green at them too-- shortly the police were there- the took the laser and BOTH were arrested.
Both got a fine and jail time--even the woman. Since then this has become a Federal Offence here-- very serious and unforgiving-- NO early release regardless of 'good behavior'. AND in almost all cases these folks are NEVER allowed to ever own or use any laser AGAIN--ouch!!

You sure would never want to be seen as a terrorist.
They say-- if you fall into a vat of melted chocolate you yell FIRE!
coz nobody will come if you yell CHOCOLATE!

Drivers in a road rage will call the police and say a pistol was aimed at them, when it was only a cell phone .
The police must assume it really was a gun. AND I suggest that nobody lases any cars etc
Police use weapons with lasers SO not a stretch for them to MYB assume your laser was mounted to an AR 15.


ps BTW
Nothing slips by Pat--he rarely misses anything in the news- both pro laser and the bad things.
He reports these in detail- he follows up and always find out how these incidents ended..

He uses their names and locations etc. -- and any pics he can find.

'Murph' has been pres. of ILDA too.
He was one of the original people that started PANGOLIN ( Laser//(Quick Show Beyond- Saturn Galvos and now selling Kvants )
WE need to get him (back?) to SELEM.