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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Gil V
sage


Reged: 09/09/12

Extreme cold weather question
      #5596507 - 12/30/12 04:34 PM

Will be looking at Jupiter tonight. Temps 15 F with 15 mph winds.
Scope is already outside freezing.
Do you keep eyepieces inside (warm) or outside (freezing) before going out?


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star drop
Snowed In
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: Gil V]
      #5596520 - 12/30/12 04:39 PM

Warm.

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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: star drop]
      #5596627 - 12/30/12 05:41 PM

Quote:

Warm.




...because otherwise if your EPs start out at frigid ambient temperature, the warm moisture radiating off your eyeball and face will quickly fog up the eyelens directly on-axis.


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5596648 - 12/30/12 06:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Warm.




...because otherwise if your EPs start out at frigid ambient temperature, the warm moisture radiating off your eyeball and face will quickly fog up the eyelens directly on-axis.




+1


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Gil V
sage


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: star drop]
      #5596667 - 12/30/12 06:15 PM

Seeing poor. Jupiter was a mess. Too cold!!

Edited by tecmage (12/31/12 10:32 PM)


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Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: Gil V]
      #5597782 - 12/31/12 11:32 AM

I put them in my coat pockets, put heat packs in the case, and use a heater on the eyepiece plugged into my Dewbuster. It is a must here because eyepieces fog up here easily due to the extreme humidity that prevails here on the Gulf Coast. I wrap the heater around the barrel of the eyepiece and secure it with a strip of Velcro. It works very well. Another tactic that always helps is keeping my eyepiece case shut unless I am swapping eyepieces, that keeps them from dewing up and so does a heat pack place inside it.

Taras


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: Achernar]
      #5599755 - 01/01/13 02:44 PM

I'd be more worried about ME being cold then the eyepieces. But like Achernar, I just keep the eyepieces in the closed case or at least in the bolt case. Having spent a year at the North Pole, I have a great respect for the cold.

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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5599773 - 01/01/13 02:56 PM

Gil V, I doubt that you'd have any frost build up in a 15 MPH wind.

It was -2F last night (no wind) and I didn't have any problems with EP frost, but I don't know what the Dew Point was. Kept the EP's in a camera bag with a couple "Little Hotties" hand warmers.


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NeilMac
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: Seldom]
      #5599831 - 01/01/13 03:30 PM

I just keep them in my pocket.

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dennyhenke
super member


Reged: 09/07/12

Loc: Fredericktown, MO
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: NeilMac]
      #5600538 - 01/01/13 11:29 PM

I use an $11 heating pad in my EP case, works great!

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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: dennyhenke]
      #5601028 - 01/02/13 10:58 AM

Easy, cheap, solution: put one of those pink hot water bottles in your lens case.

Dark skies.

Jack


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5601037 - 01/02/13 11:02 AM

Quote:

I'd be more worried about ME being cold then the eyepieces.




+1

I also just keep my eyepieces in my closed case, while observing. I've not had a problem so far.


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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

Loc: 43N
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: NeilMac]
      #5601263 - 01/02/13 01:29 PM

Pockets for me too.
This will de-fog and defrost them as well.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: Gil V]
      #5601314 - 01/02/13 02:06 PM

Boy, it would never occur to me to describe 15F as "extreme cold."

As others have said, it's pretty important to keep the eyepieces warm -- at least if your face puts out as much moisture as mine does. Pockets work fine for me, though I occasionally lose a minute or two warming up an eyepiece that I hadn't expected to use.

No doubt electric heaters work beautifully, but I don't like to be dependent on a high-power electric supply. And chemical handwarmers get expensive if you use them every night. A hot water bottle would be OK at first, but doesn't stay hot terribly long when it's cold out.

As for the seeing, it's sometimes fine on cold nights -- you never can tell. You do need to allow more cooldown time than during the summer, obviously.


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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5601341 - 01/02/13 02:24 PM

Maybe I have been lucky. I keep my scope and eyepieces in my garage. observed for about an hour with no issues. It wasn't terribly cold maybe 20F. I never warmed my eyepieces. No my question is should I start to?

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5601352 - 01/02/13 02:28 PM

You can heat up ES eyepieces while boiling eggs.......

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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5601390 - 01/02/13 02:53 PM

Quote:

Easy, cheap, solution: put one of those pink hot water bottles in your lens case.

Dark skies.

Jack



I've used hot water bottles for years as backpacking canteens, serving a duel purpous. Theres nothing quite as nice as slipping into a warm sleeping bag on a cold trail.
Walmart has hot water bottles at the Pharmacy, they were $4.oo last time I looked.
Over here in the UK there are small, kid sized hot water bottles, they only hold about a cup and a half of hot water; might be a good size for warming a case, anyway, another good idea for a HWB.


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5601522 - 01/02/13 04:20 PM

Quote:

Maybe I have been lucky. I keep my scope and eyepieces in my garage. observed for about an hour with no issues. It wasn't terribly cold maybe 20F. I never warmed my eyepieces. No my question is should I start to?




Here's my advice:

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

- Tony


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5601650 - 01/02/13 05:46 PM

I observed last night in partly cloudy skies in 13*F temperatures--a new record for me, though it was a short 30-40 minute session before I got totally clouded over. I consider that quite cold! But no wind, that made it bearable. I keep my EPs in the case until it is time to use them.

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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5601715 - 01/02/13 06:32 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Maybe I have been lucky. I keep my scope and eyepieces in my garage. observed for about an hour with no issues. It wasn't terribly cold maybe 20F. I never warmed my eyepieces. No my question is should I start to?




Here's my advice:

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

- Tony




Point well taken. I will keep things as they are. Thanks Tony!!


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: Gil V]
      #5602848 - 01/03/13 12:00 PM

Temp 8F this morning at 5 a.m. after work,-parked car and went inside to stay.Too cold,too tired.

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MawkHawk
sage
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: BigC]
      #5602868 - 01/03/13 12:07 PM

The solution to cold temps is called "The Night Skies Network", wherein you can sit inside in your Lazy Boy with your dog on your lap and view thru someone else's scope while HE stands out in the cold...

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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5603121 - 01/03/13 02:29 PM

I go out in -10 F (my lowest) temps if needed. I have a single Propane Tank heater as found in this link so I can run that on one side of the car if I get too cold. Works like a charm though it will kill your dark adaptation. Dressing for the cold is the number one thing and I find that I don't get cold due to the clothing. That is the key for me, to be dressed for it and to keep the feet, hands and head covered up. Once my hands and fingers get cold, I'm done until they warm up.

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JMW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/11/07

Loc: Nevada
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5605177 - 01/04/13 04:40 PM

I keep my laptop on a heating pad. It is big enough to allow me to rotate a few eyepieces on the edge of the heating pad. Once I see an eyepiece starting to fog, I swap it out with one staying warmer on the heating pad.

I like to where insulated bibs over long johns and sweats. I put a down jack over the bibs. The large overlap keeps me from feeling the cold are around my middle. It is easy to feel cold when you aren't moving around much.


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: JMW]
      #5605795 - 01/04/13 11:52 PM

I was just out for an hour at -11. Jay is right: good clothes make all the difference. Nice sky for a change. I'm going back out now....

Dark skies.

Jack


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NeilMac
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5606358 - 01/05/13 11:16 AM

keeping fingers warm is most important, once their burnt by the cold they wont forget, each time you go out when its cold they start to ache.

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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: NeilMac]
      #5606386 - 01/05/13 11:30 AM

Agreed. I wear a thin pair of wool gloves inside mittens rated to -40. Last night we reached -28 here. I keep it simple: one scope, three lenses in pockets of my down coat, Sorel pacs, Mad Bomber hat, snowmobiler bibs, and the usual under layers of polypropylene. A light, my iPad resting on a hot water bottle. GLP is dead, but the Telrad works like a champ. Except for the fan on the scope, no electrical. Guerrilla observing.

Dark skies.

Jack


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Seldom
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/05/12

Loc: N of Cedar City Light Dome
Re: Extreme cold weather question new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5606434 - 01/05/13 11:53 AM

Having problems with cables. All my DSC cables are stiffening up at -8F. Coiled phone handset type cables for the controller pad are losing their flexibility and contracting.

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