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MakeItSo

To what lengths do you go to to get good observing time in?

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Posted (edited)

Hi All, 

I am curious; to what lengths do you go to to get good observing time in?

We are having really bad viewing weather right now and every day I am checking my apps and weather websites for even short stints that are useable. Occasionally I see clear skies forecast for times like 2am-4am. But on a work night this is challenging. My last session was a Friday night and I stayed up right through until 4am but I was flattened for 2 days afterwards. 

I have a new WO refractor bought last week that I am dying to try out but have yet to. Yes, 1 week waiting is nothing, I know.

So my question is - if there are predicted good viewing conditions, say, at 2am on a work night, do you:

  1. Stay up until then?
  2. Go to bed and get up?
  3. Give it a miss and wait for a better time?

What about at the weekend/non-work night?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MakeItSo

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I'll only go out late if I know I can either lie the next day or go to bed early the next night, but even then my definition of late would be 1am! I don't like feeling tired for an extended period of time and in this hobby ending up chronically tired is possible.

On weeknights I only do very short sessions with small scopes in light polluted conditions but there's still lots to see even then.

The best thing you can do to really enjoy this hobby is... retire and relocate to somewhere else in the world!!!

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2am on a work day? I'm just making coffee and getting ready. I start at 4am. Now on a non work day, I will go out to the observatory, but why not. I'm already wide awake?

If work permits, and an opportunity presents itself, I just can't resist. Even if it's just to image a full moon.

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I go upstairs, at bedtime, to look down on the Moon and Jupiter from a very tall stepladder.

It's difficult to sleep after that much excitement!

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Just last night I was out until 1:30am observing with work to get up for in the morning. Sometimes I'll take a power nap in the early evening. I sleep 10pm-11pm and then go out to observe until the sky gets too light (2-3am). I find I normally enjoy it a little more when I do that as I'm refreshed from the sleep. I even do split sessions where I'll observe, sleep for a couple of hours and then get up and observe some more. I'll normally do this if I need to wait for something to rise. 

I tend to just grab the opportunities that are there and catch up on sleep when the cloud returns. 

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If I can't finish observing by about 10:30 on a normal night it doesn't happen - I live in a multi-occupancy house and my parents moan if I wake them up coming back inside the house and I can't go out early in the morning for the same reason..  I was only out at midnight taking cloud pictures the other night because we were hosting a party.

 

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5 hours ago, MakeItSo said:

I am curious; to what lengths do you go to to get good observing time in?

I moved my entire setup to E-Eye in Spain, drove there, flew there, paid for it. UK has literally given me months of non-stop clouds, which does nothing good for my temper.

Now I set the targets at dusk, set it up for running until dawn. I set the alarm, wake up, shut it all down and go back to bed. Next step is for me to automate the entire procedure and sleep all night.

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I used to stay up until 2 or 3am but these does only stop up through the night at star parties. I have set my alarm for 3 or 4 if there is a comet that is visible around that time. I have to be careful about waking up my wife or neighbours.  She will say it’s fine on the night but if she is really tired the next day because I disturbed her then it’s a different story!

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6 hours ago, MakeItSo said:

do you:

  1. Stay up until then?
  2. Go to bed and get up?
  3. Give it a miss and wait for a better time?

No

No

Yes

Only exception was a lunar eclipse one time.

Takes all sorts.

Cheers,
Steve

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