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cloudsweeper

How Did You Fare In 2018?

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19 minutes ago, des anderson said:

  Best year yet with 121 clear nights , in my part of Essex. 

2014 98    Clear nights

2015 78         :        :

2016 94          :        :

2017 93          :        :

2018 121        :        :

This is based on a minimum of 2 hours observing in my observatory, with the months of May[16] June[17] July[16] being the best, with December the worst with just 3 clear nights. Des

Great positive note, Des!

Doug.

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During the year, I observed at home in Cheshire on 101 nights. This is 28% of all nights. As in previous years, I recorded the number of nights that I have actually observed – this could have been for a few minutes between clouds, or perhaps a whole night. 
Others were missed due to holidays, work travel etc (actually, the holidays allowed many additional nights of observing that are not counted in my stats!). 

This is a significant improvement on 2017 (86 nights; 24%), but is still way below my average for 2005-2018 of 114.6 .nights (31.4%).

My best month in 2018 was October (15 nights), followed by Jan and May (13 nights). The worst was March with 3 nights (which was frustrating as March is normally pretty good).

I made CCD measurements of the brightness of 4594 variable stars.
My two automated video cameras captured 3209 meteors.

Best wishes to everyone for 2019 with many clear skies!

Jeremy
 

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Two nights early last year - due to injury I can't lift the scope :sad2:

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8 minutes ago, Mr Spock said:

Two nights early last year - due to injury I can't lift the scope :sad2:

Need to get yourself a smaller scope Michael!

Not brilliant for me really, no records but probably around 20 sessions including short ones in the garden. Didn't help that the sun was quiet so solar was less rewarding. Must do better this year!

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

Need to get yourself a smaller scope Michael!

I have a smaller scope - can't lift that either :biggrin:

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Pretty poor year here. I recorded only 39 outings in my log, ranging from brief sessions with the bins to a few more lengthy scope nights. Although outings were few in number, I recorded some great sights, including two comets (Giacobini-Zinner and Wirtanen), all the planets, and managed the Leo quartet (Hickson 44) galaxies from the back garden. Also, 2018 was the year I completed the Messier catalogue. Some top nights, and occasionally some great company, but, at least towards the end of the year, a great deal of cloud induced frustration. Looking forward to (hopefully) clear skies in 2019!

Kev

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123 nights clear enough for some observing in 2018 up from 105 in 2017. I took advantage 74 times down from 79. April was the best. I think that's pretty good. Unfortunately, like everyone else it seems, there have been a lot of clouds around since November.

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Posted (edited)

I've  summarised my notes and only counting observing sessions with mounted scopes  I did 80 sessions in 2018 (103 in 2017). The tally by scope was...

10... VX14

4...C8

26...MC127

34...ST120

5...ST80

1...SW607

The VX14 comes out for longer sessions in good conditions so has had more use than the figures show, the other scopes are almost always out for short opportunistic sessions often in marginal conditions.

The MC127 is the most popular small scope, it was only beaten because the ST120 came on a 2 week holiday that had good conditions so it got a bit more use than it otherwise would. That said  the ST120 is great and still gets picked second most often. The C8 is good but the smaller scopes are much easier to set up when time is short, and when conditions are good the VX14 is simply better so the C8 is in no mans land a bit. Where the C8 wins is if I want to fit a lot of aperture in a small car to go somewhere away from home. The ST80 gets used only on trips where I cant fit anything bigger in the boot.

Summary by month Jan for Dec is...

J8 F9 M2 A6 M7 J9 J8 A11 S10 O5 N4 D1

The last few months have been poor for opportunities to observe, and 1 session this December is the thinnest month in the last 2 years for which I have like for like notes . I observe all year round and go for whatever targets are best at any time of year. 2017 was more consistent through the year.

Summary by type of targets (adds to more than 80 as 1 session will include 1 or more types) observed is...

36...moon

25...solar system objects (mostly planets plus the odd asteriod and comet)

22...sun

21...doubles

12...open clusters

6... globular clusters

5...planetary nebula

5...galaxies

4... other nebulae

2...variable stars

2...milky way

1...coloured stars

This mix is due to my my light polluted back yard observing habits - galaxies and nebulae in particular being off limits a lot of the time. The mix was similar in 2017 with one exception that I have done more solar in 2018, maybe this was due to having less nocturnal opportunities. The sun is quiet spot-wise in white light bit I've had a good time trying to spot other things like granules and faculae.

Edited by Paz
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Well @Paz - an interesting break down, hurrah for the much used ST120.  I've decided to hang on to mine and go for an additional smaller aperture apo frac.!

Doug.

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114 observations - my highest score ever (2016: 88;  2017: 101); due partly to the extreme summer and autumn weather conditions here in SW Germany (40 km NNW from Heidelberg), partly to the increasing use of my smaller scopes (8"; 5.1"; 80/400 frac) and binos for shorter grab-and-go sessions. Usual mix of DSO's and Lunar sessions. Best Wishes to all in 2019, and

Clear Skies

Stephan

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