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Liquid360

Anything Productive To Do Cloudy Nights?

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For the Newb, other than reading manuals and forum posts, is there anything productive I could be doing whilst the weather mocks my existence? I have all this equipment to figure out...there must be something I should/could be doing with my time indoors.

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If you intend to use programs to control the mount do some dry runs to get you used to the programs.

Offer to clean the house..get you in the Mrs good books when you need to buy new kit.....

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Sacrifice a couple of goats to the Gods of weather, dance the anti-rain dance and all that.

Seriously now, come up with target lists for both visual and AP, read up on image processing techniques (that FSQ does wonders but post-processing is the bees knees) and admire your gear  :grin:

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I often read my Star Atlas and plan my next nights viewing and backup with Stellarium. Clean your lens. 

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Hi Liquid360 I usually forward plan by checking what would be available to see in the coming days, picking targets that would be available if the skies are clear. Checking best method to find them and then read up about the subject. I find I get more enjoyment knowing the subject before I Actually see it which raises the expectation and then satisfaction.best of luck in your choice of infill time.

Edited by Sirius Starwatcher

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Make yourself a dew heater for the cold nights, or  a radio telescope,  extended mount lead so you can sit in the kitchen while you guide your scope, learn how to use the processing programs DSS, nebulosity,Photoshop, gimp

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I seriously appreciate all of the great advice!! However, after sacrificing the ceremonial goats, the weather shifted to as seen in photo below so I must assume you tricked me. Never mess with a man who happens to have not only the tools of sacrifice, but goats to spare.

NCLIkoU.jpg

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I spent a lot of time while having cloudy nights, doing dryshots on terrestrial targets, making Flats, darks bias everything, and comparing differences when not using flats and so on.

Furthermore I've tried all kinds of different processing software, for example lately Pixinsight.

Another cool thing: Get raw example data: http://www.rawastrodata.com/nebulae.html

and process them yourself to see if you can get a good result.

Kind regards, Graem

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I tend to use cloudy nights as an opportunity to reprocess old data to try and hone my processing skills. failing that, watch telly and spend a LOT of time on SGL :)

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There is great article in the french version of "Astronomy Magazine N°170" on 10 things to do on cloudy nights... I just hope they publish a part II with 10 more because I have ran out of things to do

#1: Repare and do maintenance on your gear

#2: Learn and practice how to do common settings (polar scope, goto handle, collimation, etc)

#3: Clean your EP's and optical elements

#4: Go back on old images and refine them with technics and tools you have learned over time

#5: Put some order in your toolbox, filter box, and prepare for the next session

#6: Organize you image foler or Astrobin gallery, identify and fill out missing informations for each pictures

#7: Organize and clean up your notes taken during sessions

#8: Plan ahead your futur sessions (Saturn!)

#9: Read magzine and books about astronomy to discover new targets

#10: sleep ;)

Here are some suggestions that came up in the original thread

#11: Complain about the weather on SGL

#12: Browse other people's work and learn from them

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