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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Bakes
super member


Reged: 01/06/09

Loc: Stratford, CT
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Bakes]
      #5958377 - 07/07/13 01:17 AM

While typing I missed bherv's post. Could my problem simply be a matter of location? I am at sea level near the CT coast.

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Usquebae
sage
*****

Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: 43 N, 73 W
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Bakes]
      #5958397 - 07/07/13 01:55 AM

Summer is best for observing the most beautiful object in the universe: Earth. Grab your bino and go for a hike!

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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Usquebae]
      #5958567 - 07/07/13 08:10 AM

Last night was very good here in NJ (save for the neighbor's lights, of course)... when I went out to observe a little after midnight, it was perfectly clear, with magnitude 5.2 stars visible at the zenith. However, it was also about 80-some degrees, which was a bit uncomfortable.

Something doesn't jibe here... I've never before seen that kind of nighttime clarity here with such supposedly high relative humidity (save for back in the dark old 1960's), as normally all the artificial light reflecting off the moisture in the atmosphere reduces stellar magnitudes at zenith to around 3.5 or so. There was no low-lying fog that might have shielded me from LP at lower altitudes.

My gut tells me that the weather is being, well... there's a New Jersey-ism that's perfectly descriptive, but violates the TOS... so I'll just say "messed" with.

Fred


Fred


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BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5958627 - 07/07/13 09:20 AM

Yes, like others, I found last evening perfectly good for observing in NY's Hudson Valley...save for the highly uncomfortable humidity and the endless dive-bombing mosquitoes!

In the context of the subject of this thread, I would likewise make mention of the fact that this was the 10th night in the past 5 weeks that I've conducted observations. That's not at all bad for the spring-to-summer transistion period here in the Northeast.

The question of "seeing" is mentioned up-stream and I would have to say local situations often have a considerable impact. Following a day of greater than 90* temps is sure to create a clash between the hot rising land air with the much cool sea air rushing in to fill the void. At my location far from the shoreline seeing last night was quite steady and partly made up for the lower transparency.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/07/13 09:23 AM)


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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5958646 - 07/07/13 09:52 AM

Quote:

Something doesn't jibe here ...

My gut tells me that the weather is being ... I'll just say "messed" with.




I've seen lots of different weather in my many years and different locations, and the one thing I've never seen is "normal" weather.

The weather's always doing something surprising, whether it's too hot or too cold, too wet or two dry, too cloudy or too clear. Normal weather happens only when you add up the daily statistics and divide by the number of days.


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katie
sage


Reged: 11/06/11

Loc: Southern Maryland
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5958702 - 07/07/13 10:43 AM

Last night I tried and failed. Although clear, the humidity was quite uncomfortable. Dew heaters on at 9:30! Same forcast for tonight 86% humidity.

Do they sell dew heaters for reading glasses?


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bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Bakes]
      #5958751 - 07/07/13 11:18 AM

Quote:

While typing I missed bherv's post. Could my problem simply be a matter of location? I am at sea level near the CT coast.



Yes, being at sea level you are looking through more and denser part of the atmosphere. When the humidity is high there is a larger difference between sea level and a couple thousand feet than on clear dry nights. Even though the humidity here was close to 100% last night, the sky was transparent. Most times if it is this moist the sky is very hazy, but as Tony pointed out earlier, the air is not filled with a lot pollutants this time leaving us with clearer skies.
Barry


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Bakes
super member


Reged: 01/06/09

Loc: Stratford, CT
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: bherv]
      #5959015 - 07/07/13 02:10 PM

Quote:


Yes, being at sea level you are looking through more and denser part of the atmosphere. When the humidity is high there is a larger difference between sea level and a couple thousand feet than on clear dry nights. Even though the humidity here was close to 100% last night, the sky was transparent. Most times if it is this moist the sky is very hazy, but as Tony pointed out earlier, the air is not filled with a lot pollutants this time leaving us with clearer skies.
Barry




OK, that does correlate with my experiences. Last summer I had plenty of clear nights at home in Stratford, CT. The problem was always seeing/transparency for me.

I went to Stellafane that same summer. Inland and at 1200 feet altitude, despite hot and humid conditions, Saturday was an outstandingly transparent night.


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star drop
contra contrail
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5959019 - 07/07/13 02:16 PM

Quote:

Yes, like others, I found last evening perfectly good for observing in NY's Hudson Valley...save for the highly uncomfortable humidity and the endless dive-bombing mosquitoes!

In the context of the subject of this thread, I would likewise make mention of the fact that this was the 10th night in the past 5 weeks that I've conducted observations. That's not at all bad for the spring-to-summer transistion period here in the Northeast.

BrooksObs



A few hundred miles trip from you to the southwest end of New York State yields clouds and rain both night and day for the last few weeks. Last night's fireworks show was held in a light drizzle. This mornings ~3 a.m. thunderstorm washed away part of our road.
The saddest part of all this is that the upper atmosphere appears to be drier as evidenced by a lack of contrails visible when the cloud cover breaks up a bit during the day.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Bakes]
      #5959037 - 07/07/13 02:26 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

Quote:

I went to Stellafane that same summer. Inland and at 1200 feet altitude, despite hot and humid conditions, Saturday was an outstandingly transparent night.







Sat. was great.


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Bakes
super member


Reged: 01/06/09

Loc: Stratford, CT
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5959117 - 07/07/13 03:07 PM

I like that picture! Just right of center and the woman facing the camera is my dob, shrouded in white.

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galexand
sage
*****

Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Bloomington Indiana
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Bakes]
      #5960973 - 07/08/13 05:44 PM

Quote:

Getting back to the original thread question, what kind of observing is possible during summer heat and haze? I would be interested in what kind of observing opportunities exist under such conditions.

I hate to see any clear night go to waste!




That's a good attitude. Personally, I'm a big fan of DSOs, so I find poor conditions kind of frustrating. But I have been trying to make lemonade out of this horrible observing season I've seen for the last 8 months. Basically, in the winter, I amused myself with binocular sort of exercises. Since I'm still new, I learned some star hops to familiarize myself with the constellations so I would be more efficient if I somehow got good conditions (that didn't happen this year, but...). Even with very poor seeing, you can learn to recognize asterisms, increasing the odds that if you just look through the scope without aiming it then you will see something you recognize and be able to go from there (which I really enjoy). On the binocular theme, there were some large open clusters in the winter that I found pretty satisfying...Beehive, Pleiades, Hyades, and all the stuff around Mirphak in Perseus (I haven't seen that named, but it's a dandy collection of stars IMHO). Even the open clusters and asterisms in Auriga (M36, M37, M38) were pretty satisfying this winter.

Of course most of that stuff is not too accessible to me now, so really I am just trying to learn some of the constellations I haven't yet familiarized myself with... I'm sure I'm being obtuse, but I haven't found any great early-summer open clusters yet. It seems like there's a great wealth of globulars up, but the seeing hasn't really let me resolve them at all.


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: galexand]
      #5961485 - 07/09/13 12:02 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Getting back to the original thread question, what kind of observing is possible during summer heat and haze? I would be interested in what kind of observing opportunities exist under such conditions.

I hate to see any clear night go to waste!




That's a good attitude. Personally, I'm a big fan of DSOs, so I find poor conditions kind of frustrating. But I have been trying to make lemonade out of this horrible observing season I've seen for the last 8 months. Basically, in the winter, I amused myself with binocular sort of exercises. Since I'm still new, I learned some star hops to familiarize myself with the constellations so I would be more efficient if I somehow got good conditions (that didn't happen this year, but...). Even with very poor seeing, you can learn to recognize asterisms, increasing the odds that if you just look through the scope without aiming it then you will see something you recognize and be able to go from there (which I really enjoy). On the binocular theme, there were some large open clusters in the winter that I found pretty satisfying...Beehive, Pleiades, Hyades, and all the stuff around Mirphak in Perseus (I haven't seen that named, but it's a dandy collection of stars IMHO). Even the open clusters and asterisms in Auriga (M36, M37, M38) were pretty satisfying this winter.

Of course most of that stuff is not too accessible to me now, so really I am just trying to learn some of the constellations I haven't yet familiarized myself with... I'm sure I'm being obtuse, but I haven't found any great early-summer open clusters yet. It seems like there's a great wealth of globulars up, but the seeing hasn't really let me resolve them at all.




Greg, I'm sure you've probably seen most of these Summer open clusters but they make for great objects whenever I observe them:

Brocchi's Cluster (aka 'The Coathanger')
NGC 6633
IC 4756
M11 (Wild Duck Cluster, yes so globular-like but still an OC)
IC4665 ('Summer Beehive')
M24 and surrounding area
M25
M6 ('Butterfly Cluster')
M7


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galexand
sage
*****

Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Bloomington Indiana
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Starman81]
      #5961929 - 07/09/13 10:10 AM

Thanks Starman. I'll keep that list and check on them next time the clouds part. Some of those are still a little low to the horizon but some are new to me and will be worth a look!

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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: galexand]
      #5962432 - 07/09/13 03:59 PM

Beautiful night here Saturday 7/6. Unfortunately, I was having an outdoor movie, so no observing. An old man has to sleep sometime!!

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auriga
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/02/06

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: JoeR]
      #5963361 - 07/10/13 12:54 AM

Quote:

All I know is Ohio is the absolute worst state in the country for weather. Much worse than the Pacific Northwest. We've now had a staggering 15 days in a row of rain and the extended 10 day forecast calls for, you guessed it, LOTS of rain. The average cloudy skies here is 293 days a year. That's 293 out of 365! Plus we have no true dark skies the light pollution is everywhere. Even in rural areas light domes are inescapable.

To make matters wrose, the clearest nights we had all year happed during the full mooon cycle and the summer solstice!




Here in Cincinnati it started to rain in March and has rained or been very cloudy more or less continuously through early July with no end in sight. i am sure records are being set for rainfall and cloudy days.

Bill


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: auriga]
      #5963707 - 07/10/13 09:32 AM

The 2 clear nights we had in NJ (7/5 and 7/6) I was in PA for an overnight trip. Trip was great but I missed the clear nights.

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Daniel Guzas
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/20/10

Loc: Bethlehem NH/ Boston MA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: steveyo]
      #5970386 - 07/14/13 01:24 PM

Quote:

It's simple.

I live in Albany NY area, smack-dab in the middle of the Northeast. My Teeter Dob has been ready for a couple weeks, so the weather got lousy, just in case I took delivery. Sorry to tell you all this, but I just actually took possession of the scope Saturday, 6/29/2013, so that lousy weather is here to stay for a while longer.




I have to admit part of it is my fault as well. I picked up my Teeter 15" on May 30th and that day was the start of all the hot cloudy weather....it was 90 the day of the pick up...

Needless to say I haven't had a chance for first light with it and it's already mid July....

So you have 2 big reasons for the clouds...and haze... sorry folks....


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: JoeR]
      #5970617 - 07/14/13 04:03 PM

Quote:

All I know is Ohio is the absolute worst state in the country for weather.




Ohio might well be the worst state for astronomy in general, but the award for worst astronomy weather should likely go to West Virginia: it is the cloudiest state in the continental U.S., due the effectiveness of the Appalachain Mountains in trapping cloudiness on the western, windward side of their range. Of course, all that cloudiness is mitigated (to a fairly small degree, in my opinion) by the generally low levels of light pollution in the state.

Fred


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Phillip Creed
Idiot Seeking Village
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Reged: 07/25/06

Loc: Canton, OH
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5972762 - 07/15/13 05:28 PM

I hear people bad-mouthing Ohio's weather and how it's among the absolute worst states for astronomy. The only problem is...

...they're right.

Clear Skies,
Phil


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