Jump to content

stargazine_ep35_banner.thumb.jpg.a7c1791d7e682021778de0def357bdbb.jpg

Hello from a new member with cloudy skies !


Recommended Posts

Hi everyone at SGL

My name is Roy, I'm a new member, and I joined back in March 2020 but as yet haven't got round to posting anything. This, my first post, has been inspired by something close to the heart of all astronomers - the weather !

Now I know UK weather isn't great at the best of times, and it's taken a bit more of a hit over the last five years or so - at least in the south west. But for the last four months it has been exceptionally dire.

At the end of September 2020 I purchased a RASA 11 to add to my collection of optical paraphernalia. Its arrival inspired the heavens to dump record amounts of rain on the UK. Endless cloudy skies followed. There were two clear nights in October coinciding with full moon - no good for deep sky stuff. November offered up another clear night at the time of a 10 day old moon. No good either. The whole of December was totally clouded out (at night) and January has been the same so far.

I have been into astronomy for over 40 years and can't remember ever going so long without a celestial fix. The RASA has spent the first four months of its life standing in the corner of the observatory gathering dust, not photons,

It's not only telescopes that are smitten. A couple of months ago I got a pair of 20x80's (my first ever astro binos). Now you don't need clear skies to try binoculars, you can test them in daytime.  Their arrival heralded three days of thick fog - arrgghh !

I live on the edge of Exmoor which has some of the darkest skies in the country. Now it seems to have some of the cloudiest too.

My non astronomical friends just don't seem to appreciate my despair, hence the motivation to post this tale to a community of people who most definitely will !

I wish you all clear skies - with envy, of course !

Roy

  • Like 11
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Roy, welcome to SGL. I t is a well known fact that when anyone buys new astronomy gear the weather turns cloudy for at least a fortnight, so with all the extra people venturing into astronomy last year it look like it will be cloudy for some time. 🙁😀

Edited by banjaxed
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Roy and welcome, yes the clouds are frustrating, especially with a nice new telescope waiting to see action! We've had similar weather here in NE Scotland, just a few rare, clear nights here and there, usually accompanied by windy weather which makes observing difficult without a dome or sheltered area. Hoping February and March improve and you get to try out that scope.

Edited by Ships and Stars
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome Roy, thanks for accepting responsibility, we now have someone to blame..... I can hear it now.... "are you going outside tonight? no, it's a bit Roy tonight"....😜

With full time retirement looming and Daughter and family living near Exeter, we had plans for moving somewhere between Dartmoor and Exmoor, not so sure now as your weather down there has been more than slightly moist for some time now. 

All the best, Les

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both for the warm welcome !

In times of prolonged cloudy weather I often cast my mind back to a holiday I had a couple of years ago in North Africa. It included a couple of nights in the Sahara Desert.

The skies there are to die for.  The stars, and the milky way, go right down to the horizon undiminished. It was so dark I could not see a hands length in front of me without a torch.

I had taken some rudimentary imaging equipment with me, but polar aligning was a problem. Here in the UK it's easy to find Polaris - it's the brightest star in that part of the sky. Not so in the desert. It was drowned out by all the other stars. Couldn't use the Plough to locate it - that was below the horizon !! Cassiopeia then.  Now which of those stars make up the familiar 'W' of Cassiopeia ? It wasn't easy to decide.

Didn't see a single cloud in the sky, day or night, the entire time I was there.

Oh well dream on Roy !

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Les for your jovial response - made me laugh. I do get the feeling that bad weather seems to follow me around, so I suppose I must take some credit for it all. Having an observatory helps - I can be ready to go in 5 minutes if there is a break in the clouds, but we are not even getting that at the moment.

At least the spring and summer just gone provided many clear nights, it just meant staying up until 2am !!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Roy ... welcome... This is a subject that is very close to everyone's heart , in my case to the point of being almost fed up enough to give up! ( on astronomy , not life , you understand lol :) )

Having bought a scope in December i have used the thing once in one month . I FEEL YOUR PAIN :( . But lets celebrate the fact that the skies WILL eventually clear . I wish you every success with your scope . 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I'm not totally to blame then, you have contributed to the rubbish weather as well by getting a new scope. Please don't give up on Astronomy - although I know the feeling well !

You are right - the weather will improve one day. Good things are worth waiting for, as they say. Good luck with the new scope when it finally gets first light !

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Roy Foreman said:

So I'm not totally to blame then, you have contributed to the rubbish weather as well by getting a new scope. Please don't give up on Astronomy - although I know the feeling well !

You are right - the weather will improve one day. Good things are worth waiting for, as they say. Good luck with the new scope when it finally gets first light !

i will never actually give up , Roy ... these cloudy skies are what makes us even more enthusiastic when the weather improves ;)

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Nigella - yes there have been sunny days but no clear nights, great for your solar work ! Already done time looking at the RASA, now I need to make some modifications to it before first light. Those Losmandy rails top and bottom have just got to go. Really hate dovetail mountings on larger scopes, so I replace them with a setup that is much easier and safer to use.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the welcome Jeff !

I have seen the sun on occasions recently, but not clearly enough to consider looking at it through a solar scope - yes I have one too.

I keep a log of the night time weather - have done for several years - and here in West Somerset, the last time we had skies cloudless enough to consider deep sky imaging was 21st September 2020. That borders on unbelievable.

The forecast for tomorrow night, Saturday is for clear skies from 11pm until 3am. I shall be staying up to witness this incredibly rare celestial even, but I expect it will be clouded out as usual !

Roy

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.