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Stardaze

Summer month observations

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So there's now no proper darkness until the end of July and there's been sporadic cloud abundant on most nights recently which has had me wondering, what conditions  do you persevere in? Do you venture out in hope or are you somebody that has to have as good as possible to make the effort? Obviously I'm still super-keen which will have some relevance. This month looks increasingly tricky to gauge for a relatively newcomer. 

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Well to be honest as things go the weather has been very good for this time of year don,t remember last time had a good spell of clear seeing conditions especially for April time.as the June and July approaches true darkness is around 1:00-2:00am I believe it’s called Astronomical twilight.Astronomy has a similar terminology as fishing it’s a waiting game at times that’s the nature of the hobby.and all due respect as a certain name virus which most are fed up of mentioning about even tho how tragic.the earth has a little opportunity to heal herself as less carbon monoxide pollution from vechles and planes and yes light pollution has been reduced also.

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Just now, Supernova74 said:

Well to be honest as things go the weather has been very good for this time of year don,t remember last time had a good spell of clear seeing conditions especially for April time.as the June and July approaches true darkness is around 1:00-2:00am I believe it’s called Astronomical twilight.Astronomy has a similar terminology as fishing it’s a waiting game at times that’s the nature of the hobby.and all due respect as a certain name virus which most are fed up of mentioning about even tho how tragic.the earth has a little opportunity to heal herself as less carbon monoxide pollution from vechles and planes and yes light pollution has been reduced also.

I'm not necessarily complaining, you're right, it is a waiting game (having been a very dedicated fisherman for 20 years until recently) For me, astro fills in some useable time later in the year when the weather for other pursuits isn't so favourable. April was a very good month here too. There is astronomical darkness at the moment, but not true darkness, until July 28th. I like the seasonal changes, I just have to learn what/how to adapt to them. Double stars probably look to be well worth persevering with these coming months.

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Yes no set rules in Astronomy and can be just as a money pit at times same as fishing really it all depends where your interests are and observing style I suppose if your an imager or visual amateur regarding to true darkness it does,nt necessary mean you will see more anyway as it does help yes admittedly as you gain another couple of magnitudes in what your observing ie deep sky and most of all seeing conditions of course 

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Posted (edited)

Much depends on your mind set. I had one astronomer friend who when seeing a cloud on the horizon, would pack up and go home. Another who would sit out in 6" of snow on a cloudy winter night just waiting for a clear patch. I lean more towards the latter example, and because I'm generally optimistic by nature anyway, I've been rewarded with some very memorable  night of observing. I think it pays to have a wide range of astronomical interests. If its clear and the Moon is on show then I observe the Moon. If there are planets observe, i'll observe planets. No planets or moon I'll sweep the skies hunting down anything of interest within my scopes range, and sometimes I will plan an observing session with specific targets in mind. I will nearly always sketch something during an observing session, as sketching helps me to see things in more detail and leaves me with a record to look back on.  Some of the finest planetary views I've had have been on cloudy nights when suddenly a large sucker hole brings an unexpected half hour of perfection. Jaw dropping views often result, but the sad thing is that most people miss them because they look at the clouds and think it won't be worth the effort. It's nearly always worth the effort!

Edited by mikeDnight
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1 hour ago, Stardaze said:

So there's now no proper darkness until the end of July and there's been sporadic cloud abundant on most nights recently which has had me wondering, what conditions  do you persevere in? Do you venture out in hope or are you somebody that has to have as good as possible to make the effort? Obviously I'm still super-keen which will have some relevance. This month looks increasingly tricky to gauge for a relatively newcomer. 

I tend to dabble in AP and generally have to set up from scratch, as a consequence I don't bother setting up the main rig unless I can effectively guarantee a couple of hours. Having said that I have the "grab and go" on standby at all times that takes just a few minutes to cobble together for some eyepiece boggling.

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18 minutes ago, mikeDnight said:

Much depends on your mind set. I had one astronomer friend who when seeing a cloud on the horizon, would pack up and go home. Another who would sit out in 6" of snow on a cloudy winter night just waiting for a clear patch. I lean more towards the latter example, and because I'm generally optimistic by nature anyway, I've been rewarded with some very memorable  night of observing. I think it pays to have a wide range of astronomical interests. If its clear and the Moon is on show then I observe the Moon. If there are planets observe, i'll observe planets. No planets or moon I'll sweep the skies hunting down anything of interest within my scopes range, and sometimes I will plan an observing session with specific targets in mind. I will nearly always sketch something during an observing session, as sketching helps me to see things in more detail and leaves me with a record to look back on.  Some of the finest planetary views I've had have been on cloudy nights when suddenly a large sucker hole brings an unexpected half hour of perfection. Jaw dropping views often result, but the sad thing is that most people miss them because they look at the clouds and think it won't be worth the effort. It's nearly always worth the effort!

Thanks Mike, that's a great post. I'm really drawn to DSO but am looking forward to the planets in July. Forecasts aren't infallible and so I'll have to just persevere on some evenings. Like anything in life, and especially with our interests, the old mantra is true: TIME + EFFORT = REWARDS 😀

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Yes mike at times it can be very frustrating waiting for the cloud to pass over that’s why the weather man says it’s raining you can trim up your knowledge and plan ahead your observing sessions when the seeing is good to go ie books and literature all easy accessible this day and age however from past experiences I’m not go to put all my hope and dreams on weather apps any longer and set the scope just to find out in process that computer says no after all 

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I’m an ‘observe all through summer’ chap, lunar, planetary, solar, doubles all keep me going.

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Personally enjoy the summer observing. Like to call it 't-shirt' observing. Still plenty of targets around to enjoy, plus the milky way of course!

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The summer Milky Way has a lot of treasures worth observing during the nautical darkness. And don't forget about noctilucent clouds. Not really astronomy, but very beautiful!

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Yes the only thing that annoys me is you freeze to death in winter time and in summer get bitten by mosquitoes as I have a pond at bottom of garden clearly the fish aren’t doing there job properly 

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Maybe we all should forget the weather focasts and put Monday-Sunday on a piece of paper sling it in a hat take one out luck of the draw really

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2 hours ago, Waddensky said:

The summer Milky Way has a lot of treasures worth observing during the nautical darkness. And don't forget about noctilucent clouds. Not really astronomy, but very beautiful!

That's a very good point. I can't see it at all from my garden (blocked by an oak tree) but is a region I need to explore when we can get out again.

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55 minutes ago, John said:

I love Summer observing - some fantastic targets in and around the Summer Triangle and elsewhere !

The O-III filter earns its keep on the Veil Nebula alone - so much to explore in just that one target ! :icon_biggrin:

https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-blogs/explore-night-bob-king/explore-veil-nebula/

Don’t say that, another £180 I need to spend...

Cygnus isn’t accessible from my back garden so I’d have to travel for that one.You do realise that I’ll want to now 😂

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15 minutes ago, Stardaze said:

Don’t say that, another £180 I need to spend...

Cygnus isn’t accessible from my back garden so I’d have to travel for that one.You do realise that I’ll want to now 😂

It will much higher in the sky in July.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Supernova74 said:

Maybe we all should forget the weather focasts and put Monday-Sunday on a piece of paper sling it in a hat take one out luck of the draw really

I thought that's what the Met office did!

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1 hour ago, mikeDnight said:

I thought that's what the Met office did!

Mike, I think you are onto something.
The wet Lettuce Leaf has failed them of late, so the hat has taken over 😉

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On 22/05/2020 at 17:01, John said:

I love Summer observing - some fantastic targets in and around the Summer Triangle and elsewhere !

The O-III filter earns its keep on the Veil Nebula alone - so much to explore in just that one target ! :icon_biggrin:

https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-blogs/explore-night-bob-king/explore-veil-nebula/

Unsure which way to go with filters now. Buying an astonomik UHC and O-III seems a bit lavish in one hit at the moment. I was going to buy their UHC first, but now I’ve been reading up on the veil (and the ring) seems I need a O-III 😂 Maybe the ES ones to begin with?? Or, just an astronomik of one or the other 🤔

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9 minutes ago, Stardaze said:

Unsure which way to go with filters now. Buying an astonomik UHC and O-III seems a bit lavish in one hit at the moment. I was going to buy their UHC first, but now I’ve been reading up on the veil (and the ring) seems I need a O-III 😂 Maybe the ES ones to begin with?? Or, just an astronomik of one or the other 🤔

Hard to know what to advise, but the OIII is the one that shows the most dramatic improvements on the Veil and NAN for example, so would probably be the one I went for first. Treat yourself to an Astronomik, sure you won’t regret it!

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39 minutes ago, Stardaze said:

Unsure which way to go with filters now. Buying an astonomik UHC and O-III seems a bit lavish in one hit at the moment. I was going to buy their UHC first, but now I’ve been reading up on the veil (and the ring) seems I need a O-III 😂 Maybe the ES ones to begin with?? Or, just an astronomik of one or the other 🤔

Keep your eyes open here on abs and eBay- they do turn up second hand and quite a bit cheaper than new. I’ve yet to see anything veil like though even with my oiii 😢

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On 22/05/2020 at 13:56, Stu said:

I’m an ‘observe all through summer’ chap, lunar, planetary, solar, doubles all keep me going.

Well I started this adventure this time last year so last summer was an incredible time for me and very much looking forward to this one with the addition of Mars to the playlist :)

my local society don’t meet-up during the summer except for solar viewing in the daytime citing lack of darkness as a reason- great shame I think as the planets are the best targets for outreach and a warm comfortable lazy evening observing is the most rewarding thing I think anyone could possibly do! I might try a bit harder to persuade them of their error 😉

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22 minutes ago, markse68 said:

Keep your eyes open here on abs and eBay- they do turn up second hand and quite a bit cheaper than new. I’ve yet to see anything veil like though even with my oiii 😢

I’ll stack the odds in my favour and if I can’t see them, at least I’ll know it’s me 😂

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1 hour ago, Stardaze said:

I was going to buy their UHC first, but now I’ve been reading up on the veil (and the ring) seems I need a O-III

Take a look at this interesting website comparing the effect of different kind of deep-sky filters on a number of well-known objects. As it turns out, a UHC type filter performs really well on both the Veil and the Ring. This matches my experience with the DGM NPB. The UHC is more of an "all-rounder", the OIII only excels on certain kind of nebulae (mainly planetary). H-Beta is another specialised filter, performing really well on an even smaller number of objects (De Mairan, California and Flaming Star for example).

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