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Found 10 results

  1. I had a finely balanced decision to make yesterday about whether to stay up and attempt a post-midnight astro dark session, factors including: - BBC/Met Office forecast was "clear all night" - BBC/Met Office forecasts have been woefully innaccurate, both day and night - Clearoutside was forecasting clear early evening, but later on it had "0% low cloud" and "75% high cloud" cover - Lack of moon - My other half is somewhat keen, but I didn't want to keep her up that long for a potential damp squib - It's very late, and not dark for that long - There look to be one, perhaps two more clear nights forecast in the coming week - I have a new eyepiece and filter arriving soon I decided not to wait up, and instead charged my batteries for a possible session this coming week. I see in the observing reports this morning that at least some UK people did have clear skies, so I am a bit regretful. I've only started observing in the last couple of months, so I may have been spoiled by the number of good evenings we have been having? Looking back at some of the older comments, I see people wishing they'd never bought their scopes, after fifty or sixty days without sight of a star! Anyway, to my question. Was I unwise to be put off by the Clearoutside prediction of "75% high cloud"? I mean, leaving aside the obvious possibility that they might be wrong anyway, Is there any difference in the effect on observation between low, medium and high cloud? Would you take one more seriously than another? I noticed that the "visibility" line was still saying 10 miles (the highest it ever seems to say) even when cloud cover was 75%. Is that significant? Tonight is looking very similar!
  2. I recently got hands on my first equatorial mount, a Celestron Advanced VX mount.. And the curse holds true, that after purchasing new gear, you are to bear the burden of weeks of bad weather! So whenever there has been minor holes in the clouds, I've been out practicing star alignment, polar alignment, and just the general behavior of the mount, pointing at any star that would glance through the thin cloud cover. Hope to soon be able to practice drift alignment. A patch of "clear sky" showed itself a few nights ago, so I thought I would try and see how far I could push the unguided exposures (having only done the ASPA). And even though thin clouds would regularly pass over the target, I am at least pleased that I could squeeze this out of the image. +- 1 minute exposures of the center of the noble M45, Pleiades. 5-6 shots later, the clouds came rolling in again... So here I am stuck looking at my mount collecting dust and browsing these forums again Looks like there is some coma that needs fixing too. Scope is the Celestron 130 SLT OTA. Using a barlow right now to achieve focus. Trying to obtain the screws needed to move the mirror. As a bonus, I noticed the presence of a magnitude 17.2 in this one, faintest I've caught yet I think.
  3. First thing this morning the BBC was showing me clouds for most of this evening. So no chance of any observing or imaging. A couple of hours later and low and behold it was showing clear from 17.00 to 23.00 - and FLO Clear outside was agreeing. Great I thought and started to make plans. Just about to move the powertank into the observatory when I looked again - there was actually a shower (not forecast) on at the time. Cloudy from 18.00 onwards - FLO not quite so pessimistic. Who know what will be predicted in another couple of hours. Indeed, the only reliable 'forecast' will be to look outside when it is dark enough to do anything and maybe see what they have to say then. I have been a weather observer and data collector on an off for the best part of 60 years so none of this surprises me. Now that they have superfast computers which are updated at ever decreasing intervals. This means that any very small changes in wind direction will, if the weather is at all unsettled, result in completely different forecasts in terms of clouds and rain. And they are advertising 'Get the weather in your area'. I interpret that to mean that we want more money from you for yet more faster computers.
  4. Exceptionally clear here in south Wiltshire last night. Grabbed a met office map for midnight. I believe this situation, between two anticyclones and two low pressure areas is called a ‘col’. I don’t know if this is generally regarded as favourable for good observing conditions?
  5. I teach grade nine and ten (History, Science, Language Arts) in an isolated region of northern Quebec. Some weeks are more trying than others making this one the most straining of all. Last night, in an attempt to reconnect with my sanity (in the midst of correcting, lesson planning and science fair reports) I bundled up to face whatever mother nature had in store for me. I was in luck... the moon was center stage while the clouds had rolled out of view. Unfortunately, with the humidity at 80% and the mercury at -30 degrees Celsius, the visibility was quite poor. Ever seen the moon swim in frozen waters through your lenses? That's when humidity and cold create well... this: My Telrad had given me issues the previous week so I was happy to see that it was now securely fastened with a screw. Serious deep space viewing was impossible due to the Waxing Gibbous moon and humidity casting an ominous glow. However, the moon simply couldn't be ignored. Taken pictures is not as important to me as being in the presence of such reflective splendor but I did catch this little picture with my Galaxy SIII. My students always enjoy it when I share it with them the following day. I was surprised that none of my secondary students came to join me but with the Olympics on and the freezing temperatures, I can't blame them. Extreme astronomy isn't for everyone. I am very proud of one of my students who has taken the habit of making her way to my house every time the clouds cooperate. Unfortunately for both of us, these times are few and far between this winter. Today in class, she was able to conduct an experiment working with micrometeorites. She gathered snow shortly after the Quadrantids and with the help of a magnet discovered this little gem which she will be showing at the Science Fair next Wednesday. She understands that not every speck of rock that reacts with a magnet a micrometeorite. I told her that I would be posting it on this site and she is now awaiting your final say.. did she actually find a micrometeorite? The picture was taken through a microscope and then enlarged by cropping the picture. Have a great weekend everyone and clear skies! Isabelle
  6. I liked the 7Timer astro-forecast enough to make an iOS client for it (called Xasteria), mainly because it has (for me) the most intuitive visualisation and also because it is global. However, its problem has always been service reliability, as it would go down due to various technical or even bureaucratic reasons. I thought that was a shame, so I donated a US-based server and the scientist who developed 7Timer installed the service on it, hence we now should have a reliable astronomical forecast alternative (you are supposed to look at a couple of forecasts at least - weather prediction is not very accurate with current tech anyway!). There is an android app called astro-panel for the same service (I am not affiliated), but for iPhone/iPad you can use the aforementioned app Xasteria. A screenshot based on the display that you can find on the 7Timer website as the "ASTRO" forecast:
  7. I am very new to the world of binoculars and im gonna get started with Olympus 10x50 binoculars. My question is that will the Olympus binoculars handle weather in Switzerland (humidity above 80%), (high altitude), (cold temperatures)? It would be really helpfull if i get the answer to that question.
  8. So it now seems an eternity since a decent period of good viewing weather here in Newquay, has anyone else had better luck? ?
  9. Hi, I am doing an end of degree project on variable stars due next thursday and London's weather does not allow finish it. I was wondering if someone would do me the favour of observing the pulsating variable star V0460 Andromeda http://variablestars.net/stars/460/ in the Johnson R filter, for a period of 1 hour and 50 minutes? please? Thanks so much!
  10. Well , let me start off with something went wrong with my mount . It just wants to take off and run when getting ready to image. I haven't a clue what's going on with it but, I'll figure it out one day . I had 7 straight glorious nights and now it's doing nothing but, rain. I'm sick , Ill whatever you want to call it , that's me.
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