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Lucky Observing

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I thought tonight was going to be a total loss, but more in hope than expectation I put the scope out at 9.30 and went back to carry on getting the house ready for Christmas day.

At about 10 ish I went outside and saw that there were a number of 'sucker holes' in the cloud being a sucker I started pointing my scope at them. I had no idea what I was looking at but I knew that it was Low in the West so was near the Pegasus/Andromeda border.

After about 15 minutes I realise the sucker holes were getting larger and joining up and i was suddenly under a hole in the cloud that let me see Auriga,Perseus , Orion, Taurus, Aries, Andomeda and Casseopeia.

The cloud was slowly moving in form the West so I decide to start in Andromeda, Aries & Casseopeia. I knew I didn't have much time so it was going to be a whirlwind tour.

1st stop Gamma And. Fantastic gold & blue pair easily split in my 9mm. If you haven't seen this make it a priority

2nd Eta Cass. The 1st double I ever split Yellow& Red.

3rd Gamma Aries 2 white stars well split in the 9mm.

A brief stop at Mars - I took some quick photos. No idea if they are any good.

Into Taurus M45, Hyadies, and M1 - just a glimpse with averted vision but it is my first real sighting  :clouds2:

Betelgeuse - looked quite Orange tonight but looked great with the diffraction spikes.

Rigel - split using 9mm & 2x Barlow.

Into Perseus - Double Cluster - 2 central areas just fit the 18mm ortho.

Epsilon Perseus tight pair with a big diference in Magnitude. (primary 2nd - Secondary 8th)

Sweep passed Alpha Per. - fantastic widefield

Auiga - M38

Gemini - Epsilon = I nice wide double with a significant difference in Mag.

The cloud had rolled in and the hole disappeared .

But I did notice (and have before) that the sky just in front of a cloud does seem to be particularily clear and transparent.

As it appears that my luck in is in the numbers for tommorrows lottery are -

It's late I'll tell you tommorrow.

Cheers

Ian

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Glad you got Ian, and thanks for that report!!

Had no chance even if it was clear (and it was last night for a few hours)!!

That's an interesting point about skies in front of clouds - this could offer moments of real clarity. Worth researching I think.

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Glad you got Ian, and thanks for that report!!

Had no chance even if it was clear (and it was last night for a few hours)!!

That's an interesting point about skies in front of clouds - this could offer moments of real clarity. Worth researching I think.

Daz I have a  hypotheses (guess) about this

This is based on my experience that transparancy is always better if a fast moving weather front has passed over in the early evening. Seeing can be poor in these situations but not always. My theory is that the rain 'washes out' alot of the dust and pollution out of the artmosphere and so the air is more tranparent and this is further improved as the lack of particles in the atmosphere means that there are less particles to reflect light from the ground so light pollution is reduced.

A similar process takes place with the larger sucker holes. The clouds have been a source of rain that this 'washes out' the atmosphere around the cloud and when the cloud begins to break up the gaps are very transparent.

The fact that the sky looks very dark next to cloud could be an optical illusion due the clouds apparent lightness although it could be that as you look through the cloud and above it the cloud is actually blocking light pollution from the ground.

I have no idea how you could test this but I would be interested to know if other people have seen this effect and if it is more apparrent from light polluted sites.

Cheers

Ian

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I have heard other people say that about clouds. Havent noticed myself, though. Maybe I should pay more attention.

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I guess looking at something like Saturn would tell you if there were a difference.

How much boiling, how much detail, how clear is Cassini???

You could certainly make an accurate estimate of the above, and compare when observed in a suck-hole and after a good dry period.

Sorry, its early - does this make sense to anyone else???! :?

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