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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!
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?
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.