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Ever carry out your grab & go, and then look up...

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#1 smallscopefanLeo

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:16 AM

.. only to see a rich, fluffy stratus layer (or some other cursed member of the cloud family :p) which must have just rolled in mere minutes ago?
Yeah.. tonight was one of those nights :doah:

I do a double take at the sky and think suddenly, oh what the hibiscus?? Ah well, right back inside with me then. :smirk: Guess I'll just do some reading!

#2 droid  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 04:30 AM

All the time......got to love early spring weather.

#3 Kon Dealer

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:33 PM

Almost never happens in the U.K.
The clouds are always there :(

#4 Escher

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:43 PM

Now you know why I put in my OBS...

#5 russell23

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:00 PM

.. only to see a rich, fluffy stratus layer (or some other cursed member of the cloud family :p) which must have just rolled in mere minutes ago?
Yeah.. tonight was one of those nights :doah:

I do a double take at the sky and think suddenly, oh what the hibiscus?? Ah well, right back inside with me then. :smirk: Guess I'll just do some reading!


Yes - very frustrating. At least observing with a refractor I sometimes am able to get in 20 or 30 minutes of observing time on nights like that - whereas a larger scope would still be cooling down.

Dave

#6 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:06 PM

.. only to see a rich, fluffy stratus layer (or some other cursed member of the cloud family :p) which must have just rolled in mere minutes ago?
Yeah.. tonight was one of those nights :doah:

I do a double take at the sky and think suddenly, oh what the hibiscus?? Ah well, right back inside with me then. :smirk: Guess I'll just do some reading!


Living about 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean, it's fairly common that after sunset the clouds roll in. I usually check before I setup to see the situation. The other night though, it was clear at sunset so about 20 minutes later I loaded up the tripod with eyepieces, hauled the scope outside, went back for the chair, looked up and it was nothing but clouds. Hauled everything back, put the eyepieces away...

Thought... better check next time.

Of course this evening, I thought there wasn't a chance but now I see sucker holes just waiting.

Jon

#7 shawnhar

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:37 PM

Goes the other way too... get the big scope set up and ready...clouds...wait it out for an hour...give up, pack everything in...30 minutes later your wife says "It's totaly clear outside. Why aren't you out?"

#8 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:31 AM

I learned a long time ago how to read the local weather and anticipate the LA marine layer. Even so, every once in a while I get every thing set up and ready to polar align only to find there is no Polaris to be found.

On the other hand, some of the most stable nights with the best planetary viewing are the nights when the marine layer is deep and the fog threatens to form. There may be a lot of haze, but the detail to be seen is outstanding. It is this weather pattern that lead to Mt Wilson observatory being built. When the fog moves in below, the air a mile above is still and clear. Outstanding seeing if it were not for the city lights of Los Angeles.
http://danfinnerty.s...0/X3/LA Pano...

#9 csrlice12

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:16 PM

Frequently, and sometimes they go away and the sky is filled with sparkley things.....that's what the bomb shelter's for.....

#10 jerwin

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:13 AM

The sky tonight decided to play an early April fools day joke on me.

Got home from work and the sky was perfect. Set the dob outside to cool and went to my astronomy club meeting. Got home, still clear. Collimated the dob and felt a bit cold, so I walked inside to grab my eyepieces and put on an extra layer of clothes. Walked back outside and I could hardly see the moon through the clouds, no idea where they even came from.

Went back inside and watched a little TV. Looked outside and it was clear. I went back out and by the time I found M81 and M82 I pulled my eye from the dob and looked behind me to see yet another cloud bank covering 75% of the sky.

Just very frustrating.

Jim

#11 izar187

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:16 AM

.. only to see a rich, fluffy stratus layer (or some other cursed member of the cloud family :p) which must have just rolled in mere minutes ago?
Yeah.. tonight was one of those nights :doah:

I do a double take at the sky and think suddenly, oh what the hibiscus?? Ah well, right back inside with me then. :smirk: Guess I'll just do some reading!



Sure!
But a peek at a regional satellite loop on a local tv weather web page will usually reveal what's coming.

#12 MessiToM

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:06 AM

for me its more like "wheel out 200lbs of reflector" under clear evening sky, then go out after dusk to overcast

#13 kansas skies

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:52 PM

What I find more troubling is when you take out the grab and go since the skies are a little iffy. Then, thirty minutes later you're kicking yourself for having not taken out something better since the skies clear to become that one perfect night of the year. By the time you realize this, it's too late, as another scope wouldn't have time to normalize properly before having to pack it all in.

Bill

#14 Tom and Beth

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 02:26 AM

I got suckered. Plain and simple.

At dinnertime the sky was mostly cloudy, then it beckoned clear and bright. So went outside..figured I would learn how to work with a new program. Gaddabit. It won't work with the DSI guider, so lets change everything over to an ASCOM compliant guider.

Just as I was getting around to focus the scope...clouds. OK, I'll wait. The clouds laughed.

#15 FirstSight

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:03 AM

But a peek at a regional satellite loop on a local tv weather web page will usually reveal what's coming.


I nearly always do this before going out. HOW-EVER I remember one night with a "mostly clear" forecast and a satellite visual indicating "nothing there within 500 miles" where I set up and enjoyed observing for about an hour, until a layer of clouds literally formed directly overhead, and the sky went from clear to completely overcast within about ten minutes.

I remember another time on a nominally clear, transparent night that was relatively dark relative to the usual suburban skyglow from my location, enough to be observing some galaxies. I'd been out there about an hour and a half when a very low wall of stratus clouds quite abruptly moved in from west to east. The overcast was at the perfect height to reflect and scatter every local light source and turn the clouds an iridescent pink, and suddenly my yard was bright as well-into-dawn on a cloudy day, enough light to read larger print by and clearly make out individual leaves on trees. Ten minutes later, as abruptly as it had moved in, the clouds left, the ambient light darkened just as if a dimmer switch was being slowly turned, and the sky quickly went back to entirely clear and transparent. The rapid change in light conditions, contrast, and transparency was one of the eerier observing experiences I've had.

#16 GeneT

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:05 PM

Yes--but check the sky an hour or so later. Often times, the clouds have moved out, leaving behind clear skies.

#17 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 11:28 PM

Same here tonight. My little cousin is staying here tonight and I asked if he wanted to see the Moon; clearly excited, he says yes. I set everything up outside and look up as a massive cloud wave swallows the moon. :ohmy: Maybe next time...

#18 Saint Aardvark

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:20 AM

This happened to me tonight (though my grab-and-go was my 8" Dob). Fortunately, I was able to sit on my front porch and have a look at the moon; the clouds obscured it a bit, but really it was like Nature's own neutral density filter. :)

#19 hm insulators

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:39 AM

.. only to see a rich, fluffy stratus layer (or some other cursed member of the cloud family :p) which must have just rolled in mere minutes ago?
Yeah.. tonight was one of those nights :doah:

I do a double take at the sky and think suddenly, oh what the hibiscus?? Ah well, right back inside with me then. :smirk: Guess I'll just do some reading!


Living about 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean, it's fairly common that after sunset the clouds roll in. I usually check before I setup to see the situation. The other night though, it was clear at sunset so about 20 minutes later I loaded up the tripod with eyepieces, hauled the scope outside, went back for the chair, looked up and it was nothing but clouds. Hauled everything back, put the eyepieces away...

Thought... better check next time.

Of course this evening, I thought there wasn't a chance but now I see sucker holes just waiting.

Jon


No marine layer here in Phoenix! :grin:

#20 smallscopefanLeo

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:30 PM

Same here tonight. My little cousin is staying here tonight and I asked if he wanted to see the Moon; clearly excited, he says yes. I set everything up outside and look up as a massive cloud wave swallows the moon. :ohmy: Maybe next time...


:nonono: Oh why do stories about atmospheric moisture make me feel so emotional and such rot??

Thanks for helping to alleviate the pain some here guys.. :thanx:

#21 Madratter

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:09 PM

I have taken to using WxNinja. Not only do the have the clear skies forecast, but just as importantly, they have the Satellite view. Sometimes it is obvious that little band of clouds is going away soon. Other times, you may as well pack it in.

When I was doing my Messier Marathon this year, a bad set of clouds rolled in. I waited it out playing hide and seek with the holes that were there. They did move out before dawn.

In my experience, many people give up too easily. There are far more nights that are partially useable than people tend to think. When I see partly cloudy in the forecast, my reaction is that the night is probably at least partially useable.

It does help tremendously to have an observatory.






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