Houston and seeing...
Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:38 AM
Any one else in the Houston area here? How good do ya'll find seeing most nights? How often do see real good seeing?
I am south of town and seems I never see better than about 100x. Even at 125x most nights the view breaks down.
Is this normal for or area or am I doing some thing wrong?
Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:24 AM
The first two are the seeing charts and map for Texas. The third is the jet stream locator and winds chart that I use. In So Hou your cloud cover and transparency are so-so tonight but your seeing is pretty good.
Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:37 AM
I did it by heading west a few hundred miles and never going back.........
Houston is just in a bad weather pattern, don't know why, it just is. But there are nights that will give some good viewing. Contact the local Astronomy Society, they would know where all the good places in the area are at (and you have some good viewing spots in TX , although most of them are well West of you near the NM border.)
Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:22 PM
Don't let our winter conditions get you down. Our seeing is abysmal in the winter.
In the summer it is a completely different story. When one of those high pressure system parks itself over the state and the sky near the horizon is milky-white, we can have some of the best views of the planets ever.
I present Exhibit A: Ed Grafton's CCD Pages. Ed images the planets from his backyard, right here in Houston. I personally think he is in the same league as Don Parker in Florida.
Here is a tool I use to judge our seeing conditions. It shows the high-altitude wind speeds, that often have more of an effect on perceived seeing than low-altitude wind: http://weather.unisy...300_4panel1.gif
It is very easy to read: yellow/cyan= bad, purple=excellent.
I often don't expect to go very high in magnification unless we're in a dark blue condition. Purple is excellent. In the summer, the entire state will be purple for days on end. (And we'll be fighting to keep our grass alive, but you know about that!)
And of course, the usual stuff applies: Wait at least an hour for your scope to cool down, don't observe over rooftops, and wait for the planet to be at least 30 degrees up.
Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:40 PM
Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:06 AM
You can see some pictures at:
These were taken from Jersey Village on the 21st, with clouds passing by.
I have pushed my scopes up to 600x for planetary viewing, though as expected the atmosphere and pollution dont help much.
You can head down to the George Observatory on Friday's and Saturday's and work from there.
The alternate site is about an hour west from Houston on I10 about 6 miles past Columbus. There is a small rest area of the north of the Interstate. It's an excellent spot to look at the stars in the Houston area.
If you would like some support, contact me by mail here.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:21 AM
The novice meetings (one hour prior to the main meeting) are also excellent...we had 50-70 people in the one last month.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:31 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:47 PM
I've heard those star parties out at the Haak are fun, but haven't been able to make it out there myself (and I live relatively close by in Dickinson.)
Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:25 AM
RE: the meeting; I notice that club has a yearly membership fee. Will I have to join/pay fee to go to the meetings?