Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)
Peter10
member


Reged: 03/31/07

Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible?
      #5948242 - 06/30/13 03:28 PM

Is it just me, or has this spring and summer been unusually cloudy and hazy. I realize that warmer temperatures correlate with increased atmospheric moisture but is it typically this bad? Is there a database that shows historical data on cloud cover and transparency? It would be interesting to compare historical observing conditions to the current soup we call the night sky.

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Gil V
sage


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5948320 - 06/30/13 04:34 PM

You'll get your good nights here - usually when a late afternoon cold front has blown through.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Greyhaven
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5948339 - 06/30/13 04:50 PM

Peter' Blame the lousy N.E. skies on the ever present jet stream over head cold fronts from our neighbors to the north
hit the warm moist air riding up the coast. But when those beautiful dry Canadian highs are with us it just makes me want to blow up that bridge in Kittery and keep it all to myself.
Be Well
Grey


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5948437 - 06/30/13 06:00 PM

The cloud cover over the northeastern U.S. during the warmer weather has increased noticeably since the mid-1970's, and markedly so in the last half-decade, according to my observing logs. I put this increase down primarily to increased stratospheric jet traffic and government weather-modification attempts, with the excessive cloudiness of the last few years resulting from these factors combined with increased atmospheric water vapor; this due to the evaporation occurring over the large areas of open water exposed in the Arctic regions due to ice melt.

Fred


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5948728 - 06/30/13 09:28 PM

Yes it's been unusually cloudy, hazy and rainy. Even winter was lousy with too much clouds and haze. Spring got a little better. Of course, July and August are the true hazy poor transparency months but the seeing can be just a hair short of perfect.

Pete


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5948773 - 06/30/13 10:06 PM

There is a stalled weather pattern over the US. Huge ridge of high pressure out west bringing the intense heat. A trough in the middle of the country with the jet stream dipping to the south and then turning sharply north along the Appalachans bringing very warm moist air up the eastern seaboard resulting in the constant threat of showers of a storms. The dew points have been close to 70 for a week and there is no end in site. Usually by mid-August we get some periods of cooler drier air which brings improved transparency but poorer seeing conditions.
Barry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter10
member


Reged: 03/31/07

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: bherv]
      #5948791 - 06/30/13 10:16 PM

I suppose I can wait until mid-August for this translucent sky to yield. The one good thing is that it has given me time to work on my equipment in preparation for better times.

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5948803 - 06/30/13 10:23 PM

and when it is really nice its a full moon.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5949201 - 07/01/13 07:34 AM

Quote:

Is it just me, or has this spring and summer been unusually cloudy and hazy.




There was some excellent weather in the early and mid spring, but the recent weather pattern is abnormally bad even by eastern U.S. standards. Hazy skies are the norm in the Northeast from mid-June to mid-August, but this is ridiculous ...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5949258 - 07/01/13 08:46 AM

No, Peter, this year's spring and early summer have been no different from what is experienced on average in the northeastern U.S.

While over the last 10 days, as already noted here, the overall progress of weather systems across the country has stalled, I found June to have had more clear/usable nights than any June that I can recall in the past 25 years, although virtually all came before the 20th.

I just participated in a discussion re observing weather/lack of clear nights on another site's forum. I came away with the impression that many who today are complaining about a lack of clear skies actually take advantage of only a very small percentage of those that are available. Among this other site's posters most reported less than 25 nights ANNUALLY. When I checked my records I found that I had been out doing useful observing on 93 evenings! And this was from southeastern NY, long known as one of the least favorable locations for clear skies anywhere in the country.

This is not to say that the actual number of clear nights per year doesn't vary widely year to year, or that their average number hasn't declined with time. Certainly, there are far less clear nights now than I experienced 30 or 40 years back. Still, in any given year there would seem to be many more clear nights than most hobbyists are taking advantage of.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/01/13 08:49 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5949335 - 07/01/13 09:36 AM

Same here in the SE, the whole month of June sucked! That is why I went on vacation out west! Blue sky and 72* everyday and now I come back to this soup

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Monadnock
sage


Reged: 04/24/12

Loc: SW NH
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: REC]
      #5949370 - 07/01/13 10:00 AM

I agree, RIDICULOUS! IMO, NOT having a telescope has a tendency to make the cloudy days pass by a bit more unnoticed, but none of us are "enjoying" that scenario, are we?

There's no doubt in my mind most of the summers in the last 10 years have been lees than kind. Last year, or the year before, June (I think) had 28 of 30 days filled with rain. Then long days with searing heat and drought fill in the spaces where it used to be nice.

Oh well


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
star drop
Snowed In
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Monadnock]
      #5949500 - 07/01/13 11:37 AM

There has been a steep decline in the number of clear nights or clear days year round at my location in southwestern New York since late 2007. Precipitation has also increased. My rain gauge no longer functions due to its unfortunate use as a horse itching post but our pond's water level has not dropped during the summer from 2008 to the present as it had done every year from 2001-2007. It is about ready to overflow once again and carry the minnows down the spillway to their demise for the umpteenth time this year.

I do keep snow total records, and very precise ones after the 2008-09 snow job.
2001-02 90" A very mild winter indeed.
2002-2007 around 175-180" each winter - I'm in the lake effect snow belt so I just accept it.
2008-09 345" I figured out why mice tunnel under the snow pack instead of shoveling.
2009-10 215"
2010-11 261"
2011-12 161" Excessive amounts of rain kept the snow total down.
2012-13 232"

Don't get me started on the "would have been clear nights" lost to contrails caused by the excessive air traffic. Can't anyone stay at home?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: star drop]
      #5949589 - 07/01/13 12:43 PM

Sure it is, all you got to do is wait two weeks for Winter!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5949869 - 07/01/13 03:11 PM

Brooks,

I can't recall more clouded out evenings than I've had in the last four months. Late winter was awful. Trouble is where the recorded clear nights don't account for what's astronomically usefull. Partly cloudy can mean a sky exitnguished of virtually all star light and clear can have heavy high altitude haze making deepsky pointless. The statistics are not accurate enough to quantify what's truly useful for the astronomer.

It might be actually but I've never seen that kind of accuracy reported. Astronomy is very condition sensitive as you know. I'd not put much faith in the weather archives as useful records of what's suitae to the astronomer.

Pete


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5949970 - 07/01/13 04:04 PM

I've noticed here in Denver, while they say "clear", it's usually actually very hazy to partly cloudy. When the sky is grey, I hardly call that "clear".

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
steveyo
super member


Reged: 03/13/12

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5950035 - 07/01/13 05:03 PM

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
RedLionNJ
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/29/09

Loc: Red Lion, NJ, USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: steveyo]
      #5950063 - 07/01/13 05:35 PM

There is no doubt in my experience this has been the worst spring, astronomy-conditions-wise, in my part of New Jersey since I started record-keeping 8 years ago.

Since Jan 1, we have had NINE nights I would consider "good". My definition of "good" for this purpose is either great transparency (and no clouds!) or decent transparency with good seeing.

For the same Jan-June period in prior years, this number has been at least twenty.

Grant


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5950123 - 07/01/13 06:17 PM


It's just you. My weather sucks big time.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
davebuechler
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/21/11

Loc: Red River Gorge Kentucky
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Kraus]
      #5950269 - 07/01/13 07:58 PM

While Kentucky isn't the NE the weather pattern here this year has been especially bad the week or so before and during the new moon. I have had only a few months since last November that were clear a night or two around the new moon. So in lieu of viewing DSO's and doing AP, I have been observing more double and multiple stars and still having fun.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: RedLionNJ]
      #5950326 - 07/01/13 08:41 PM

Quote:

There is no doubt in my experience this has been the worst spring, astronomy-conditions-wise, in my part of New Jersey since I started record-keeping 8 years ago.

Since Jan 1, we have had NINE nights I would consider "good". My definition of "good" for this purpose is either great transparency (and no clouds!) or decent transparency with good seeing.

For the same Jan-June period in prior years, this number has been at least twenty.

Grant




Agreed.

Pete


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5950439 - 07/01/13 10:05 PM

It isn't any better in the Northwest.

The last two years here in Washington state have been cool and rainy.

We finally got a typical spring this year.

However, the past two weeks have been the worst weather in 35 years of living Wenatchee for this time of year. CLOUDS and RAIN for most of the past two weeks. TWO WEEKS OF CLOUDS IN JUNE!!!! REALLY??

I was ready to reset my equipment in the observatory and was hoping for clear weather during the moon period so I could adjust everything.

Oh well, it is finally clearing out.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
shawnhar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: vsteblina]
      #5950576 - 07/01/13 11:35 PM

This is the 1st year in a while that it really hit home.
I actually DO live on the edge of a temperate RAINFOREST!
Last 6 weeks have been harsh, I'm hoping the current weather pattern clears out, geesh...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ron (Lubbock)
sage


Reged: 08/17/12

Loc: West TX
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5950590 - 07/01/13 11:49 PM

Weather has been uncooperative here in west TX since about June 12. Seems like a cloud bank rolls in right around dinner time every day. Reminds me of the 1980s when I was growing up in northeastern PA. Most of the "clear" nights were so hazy as to be useless for deep sky.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5950606 - 07/02/13 12:02 AM

Well, it's July 1, normally I'm eating fresh peas and salad greens from our garden by now...This year, we're still planting (in mud), and much is only an inch or two tall.
My hay crop is likely ruined....... it is over-ripe, starting to lie down, and the ground is so wet that even if I could get equipment in without it sinking out-of-sight, the cut hay would never dry lying on the soggy soil.
I normally bring binocs every night when I walk our dog, only looked through them 5 times in June....
I wish I kept better records, but this has certainly been (except for two hot-hazy weeks) the coolest and cloudiest
spring in memory.....
R


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: steveyo]
      #5951129 - 07/02/13 11:03 AM

What about a trip to the Adirondacks, no good there too?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: REC]
      #5951134 - 07/02/13 11:06 AM

Denver: They just lifted our drought ban for watering our yards for the first time in years....and we're still battling raging wildfires throughout the state......

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pbruckne
member


Reged: 08/02/12

Loc: S.E. Michigan
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5951204 - 07/02/13 11:49 AM

S.E. Michigan: It's my fault, I bought a new scope about a month ago and it's either rained or has been cloudy just about everyday since... The shift in the jet stream followed the delivery truck!

-Paul


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Garry
member


Reged: 10/01/06

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5952227 - 07/02/13 10:45 PM

Not while this weather pattern refuses to budge.
Sat Image Loop
I am not a meteorologist but I see a stuck high pressure system in the Atlantic off of the East coast that is churning up moisture and clouds from the south all the way up the entire East side of the country. The Atlantic forecast shows the High in place for the next week still.

And here in Michigan, Paul,we are stuck between a low pressure system spinning clouds counterclockwise and the high system rotating clouds clockwise. For the next week there is no end in sight yet.

This has been the worst weather for observing at this time of the year that I can recall.

Clear Skies to All,

Garry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GreenGal
member


Reged: 05/10/13

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Garry]
      #5952609 - 07/03/13 07:18 AM

I've had my new scope all set up and ready to use for over a week and a half now. Hoping for clear skies this weekend......

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: GreenGal]
      #5952720 - 07/03/13 08:58 AM

It's official: the month of June was the wettest on record for New Jersey, with just under 10" of precipitation...Philadelphia broke its record also, and NYC just missed by a few tenths of an inch. July is forecast to be similarly "moist".

Great pizza, plenty of good diners and The Shore are not even close to making up for this.

Fred


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
russell23
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5952732 - 07/03/13 09:08 AM

Take advantage of clear skies when you get them because long cloudy stretches will hit the northeast throughout the year.

Dave


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: davebuechler]
      #5952830 - 07/03/13 10:15 AM

Speaking as someone who, in addition to astronomy, has maintained a long interest in regional meteorology, I would point out that the recent weather situation prevailing in the eastern United States is not unique, except perhaps for its timing this year.

Over decades of observation I've noted consistently that sometime between April and June an approximately month-long interval occurs where the general weather pattern presently evident appears. At such times, systems' progress slows or creases for a time with a frontal system stalling just inland from the east coast. This brings endless clouds and often heavy rains simultaneously from the Southeast all the way to New England, often distinctly marking the change from spring to more summery weather patterns.

This year this springtime pattern was very late setting up, allowing a summer-like strong Bermuda high to form. Such high pressure systems normally serve to create hot, but more-or-less dry, conditions along the east coast. On this occasion, however, the very deep trough in the jet stream inland is combining with the clockwise flow around the high to draw humid moist air from the Gulf up along the east coast.

A quite similar odd situation occurred perhaps 15-20 years back a bit earlier in the season, resulting locally in an incredible 21"-24" of rainfall where I live in the course of about 3 weeks, moisture actually being drawn all the way from the Atlantic off Brazil!

Hopefully...the current stalled pattern should begin to ease and slowly shift east in the next 7 to 10 days.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/03/13 02:12 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5953268 - 07/03/13 02:38 PM

I feel your pain. It has been a terrible late spring and early summer.

But:
At midnight on June 2, I noticed that most of the sky was clear.
So I went bird hunting: I saw the Eagle, the Swan, and the Wild Duck.

Well, I can't really say that I saw the eagle properly, I was using my 90mm. I could see definite nebulosity but no clear structure. The Swan looked nice with my 24 mm eyepiece, but really looked great when I popped in the 2.5x TV Barlow. The wild duck is always a favorite.

This was my first time looking at these summer objects with my 90 mm. The transparency was not that great, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I could see under relatively dark local conditions and fully adapted eyes.

I only got one hour of observing before I had to go to bed, but a deep and persistent itch was finally scratched.

My best advice is, have a small scope/ binos handy, and keep an eye out for sucker holes!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
shawnhar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Widespread]
      #5953451 - 07/03/13 04:48 PM

That Gulf moisture is all up my business and this stupid pattern will probably last the entirety of my vacation, which starts tomorrow....grrrr
I'd have to drive 10 hours to get out of this mess!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5953486 - 07/03/13 05:08 PM

I hope your right about the next couple of weeks cause this southern flow of moisture is getting a little old. I have not had my scope out in almost a month!

Keep us posted!

Bob


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: REC]
      #5953526 - 07/03/13 05:31 PM

Partly cloudy tonight in Denver. Seems to cloud up as soon as the sun sets. I'm hoping for some sucker holes just to remember which end to look thru.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5953575 - 07/03/13 05:57 PM

I'll chime in.

The up side: We had a mild winter and a wet spring that produced the finest display of wildflowers I've ever seen here. June was great with five nights of SQM readings over 21.50. The down side: The river I fished last Sunday had flows of 1/2 normal, our little spring creek is the lowest I've ever seen for this time of year, and the snow at 10,000 feet is, basically, gone. We're worried sick about wildfires. I would happily trade a great night for a day of rain.

So it goes.

Dark skies.

Jack


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5953613 - 07/03/13 06:31 PM

Now, in addition to the humidity we are expecting a heat wave through the weekend. I am hoping to get some observing in this weekend at Arunah Hill. I'm not expecting great transparency but if it's clear it should be ok. Definately will have the dew heaters ready to go.
Barry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
beatlejuice
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/05/11

Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5953643 - 07/03/13 07:02 PM

I know that the 14 day forecast is a toss of the dice, but around here there is inevitably a small string of sunny days near the end of the 14 day forecast. Even though I know it is wrong to do so, I end up getting my hopes up only to be dashed as the forecast sunny days turn to cloud and rain as time goes by. Next hope July 11-14. Hey, it is a toss of the dice and sooner or later they will be right!

Eric


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
star drop
Snowed In
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: beatlejuice]
      #5953792 - 07/03/13 08:48 PM

Quote:

Hey, it is a toss of the dice and sooner or later they will be right!

Eric



Nope, the dice are loaded.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: star drop]
      #5954407 - 07/04/13 07:37 AM

I went out last night for the doggy-walk, and .... somewhat dim and fuzzy, but visible, were actual stars!! So, for all those who despair, they haven't burned out yet!
Russ


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5954474 - 07/04/13 08:44 AM

Well, just goes to show.

I had pretty much given up hope of trying to observe Venus passing through the Beehive Cluster. It's been more cloudy than clear here in Boston, and when it's clear the transparency has generally been quite poor.

But, by golly, last night it cleared beautifully, and the transparency was actually quite good (by summer standards). I followed Venus down to a couple of degrees above the theoretical horizon -- but alas no Beehive Cluster. I still don't know if it's possible to see it so low in twilight, but if so, it requires genuinely great transparency, not pretty good like I had last night.

And we're still spang in the middle of the hot, humid weather pattern; in fact the absolute humidity yesterday was the highest it's been all year. Just goes to show that it is in fact possible to have very high humidity and respectable transparency at the same time.

Don't get me started about the mosquitos ...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
galexand
sage
*****

Reged: 07/10/12

Loc: Bloomington Indiana
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5954496 - 07/04/13 09:11 AM

I live in Indiana and have had a similarly cruddy spring.

Since October, I haven't had a decent night. There has been a constant haze, a lot of clouds, and poor seeing to boot. I was getting angry from all of the times I would drag out my "big scope" and not hardly be able to see anything before a cloud comes in. Then I bought a "little scope" just in time for May, which had a real preponderence of "clear" nights with only maybe half a dozen clouds in the sky, but still the sort of haze that smears Vega across 30 arcminutes and the sort of seeing that has the stars twinkling even naked eye. With the little scope, I could drag out the whole kit in one hand, set up and look at something, and not feel like I wasted any effort when a cloud came in five minutes later. It was even so light I might drag the scope out again an hour later when the clouds had moved.

But last night!! After a week straight of solid packed cloud cover, I noticed that not only was it clear tonight, but I couldn't see any twinkle. I brought out the big scope for the first time in months. I was immediately able to split double double (epsilon lyrae), which requires pretty good seeing as the inner doubles are pretty much the tightest I've ever split. I jumped all over the sky, got the best views of Saturn and M13 (hercules globular) I've had this year, and so on. Great time. Just absolutely perfect 250x view of Saturn in a 6" scope, which is pretty much as good as seeing has ever been. There were still clouds at the horizon obscuring things like Scorpius or Cassiopeia, and it hazed up a little as I stayed out... But really my only complaint is my 1-year-old kid doesn't give me enough flexibility to just stay up all night and watch Andromeda and Perseus rise out of the muck.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Now if only we could do something about the mosquitos...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Eric63
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: galexand]
      #5954689 - 07/04/13 12:34 PM

It's been horrible in Eastern Ontario too! Yesterday the forecast called for some clouds with poor transparency and poor seeing. I was going to stay in and relax when I decided to take a chance and set up. Well the clouds were not there, the transparency was not great but not that bad but best of all, the seeing was great! Go figure. I had some of the best views of Saturn. So this is how it has been so far this year. Play it by ear and take chances now and then.

Eric


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
russell23
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Eric63]
      #5954787 - 07/04/13 01:39 PM

I got 20 minutes of observing last night before clouds rolled in and ended the fun.

Dave


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: russell23]
      #5955048 - 07/04/13 05:34 PM

Well, as Tony and several others have commented, last evening was passable along much of the East Coast (I personally experienced just enough left over very thin cirrus to negate serious work, however).

What has happened is that the strong Bermuda high pressure system that has been holding everything up for near two weeks has finally moved some...but westward toward our shores! This should, however, provide for some nice clear warm nights in the eastern parts of most of the coastal states north of Georgia and across all of New England for at least a couple of days.

Of course, just how long this favorable pattern will prevail is difficult to say. Sooner, or later, unless it lifts to the north that big jet stream trough that brought us all the rain, now located from the Gulf to the Ohio Valley, will move back eastward once more.

So, use tonite and tomorrow evening to best advantage because it is uncertain just how long our luck will hold out.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/04/13 05:37 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5955116 - 07/04/13 06:36 PM

I'm hoping it will stay through Saturday night. I will be up at Arunah Hill for some observing Friday through Sunday. I am surprised how blue the sky is despite the humidity. Expecting average transparency so if it stays clear it should be just fine. I also will have the luxury of having my air conditioned camper there to give me relief from the sticky air. I have enough fuel to keep my generator going through the weekend.
Barry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
russell23
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/31/09

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: bherv]
      #5955553 - 07/05/13 02:47 AM

I love it when the hourly forecast on weather.com is completely wrong! I just got in from over 4 hours of perfectly clear skies. According to the forecast it was supposed to be partly and mostly cloudy all night. It was my first real good look at the summer sky this season.

Dave


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: russell23]
      #5955651 - 07/05/13 07:09 AM

I had a cloud bank come in about 11:15, but before that, got back from 4th festivities down in the valley, looked up, horizon-to-horizon milky way!!!!!! Got a quick star-test of my new vintage 60mm Asahi (read about it down in the 'classics') and amazingly had about Bortle 8 viewing straight up!
Russ


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: roscoe]
      #5955712 - 07/05/13 08:46 AM

As some others are noting, last night proved fairly good over most of the Northeastern states. At my southeast NY location, in what today has become extreme outer suburbs/semi-rural residential, I experienced a NLM of +6.0 (certainly not great, but better than many summer nights) most of the evening, allowing quite a bit to be accomplished.

Unfortunately, it already looks like the favorable westward progress of the Bermuda High's influence is waning, with clouds and rain associated with the upper level jet stream trough starting to slowly progress eastward once more. Thus, odds favor that last night could be it for meaningful observing conditions in NY-New England for tonite and thereafter (some of the coast far to our south is already cloud covered this morning).

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/05/13 08:49 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5955820 - 07/05/13 10:18 AM

Quote:

Well, as Tony and several others have commented, last evening was passable along much of the East Coast (I personally experienced just enough left over very thin cirrus to negate serious work, however).




The pattern moved in from the east, so it's not surprising that conditions were better in Boston than 150 miles west in New York State.

Quote:

What has happened is that the strong Bermuda high pressure system that has been holding everything up for near two weeks has finally moved some...but westward toward our shores!




This vividly illustrates a point made by Phil Creed in his article on stargazing forecasts: it's not the humidity that's a problem but rather the pollutants that build up inside the humid air, promoting the formation of transparency-killing aerosols.

It continues to be as humid as ever, but the transparency for the past 24 hours has been surprisingly good -- presumably because this Bermuda high is fresh off the ocean. If it sits around for another day or two, however, industrial emissions and automobile exhaust will build up within it and cause the transparency to plummet.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5955835 - 07/05/13 10:31 AM

It's been raining here in NC for 2 weeks straight. The 7 day forecast shows the same pattern. I was in CA for a week last month and it was clear and 72* everyday! I should have stayed there another week.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JoeR
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Columbus, OH
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: REC]
      #5955890 - 07/05/13 10:58 AM

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!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: JoeR]
      #5955902 - 07/05/13 11:03 AM

Nowhere is immune. Even here in Denver, perfectly clear skies all day long. Then, as the sun begins to set, the clouds roll in.....Pretty much every day so far this summer.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5957036 - 07/06/13 01:54 AM

3 months of rain. And The winter sucked. The daily forcast is thunderstorms for like 3 months. Like many, ive never seen this before. Good movie : chasing ice. Last couple nights was fair though. Praise be!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: JoeR]
      #5957175 - 07/06/13 07:56 AM

Quote:

All I know is Ohio is the absolute worst state in the country for weather. Much worse than the Pacific Northwest.




This entire thread is suffering from severe "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome. To put it another way, we tend to remember the bad and forget the good -- and think that if we could somehow change our circumstances all the bad would up and disappear. 'Taint so!

If you think Ohio is bad, give Alaska a whirl. Cloudy all the time, too bright to observe for half the year, and too cold the other half.

As it happens, Columbus Ohio has a rather low percentage of possible sunshine (50%), but by no means out of line for an eastern state. The best cities on the East Coast get about 60%. See chart here.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5957402 - 07/06/13 11:48 AM

I would fully concur with Tony's conclusion that folks are making out their situations to be far worse than they actually must be, likely picking and choosing only some certain few weekend nights they wish to observe during. When these happen to turn out unfavorable they insist their conditions have been hopeless for months.

In NY's Hudson Valley, known for its poor weather, I managed 93 observing nights (pre midnight) over the past year. This does not include probably another 25-30 clear nights not used, since I do not normally observe if the moon's age exceeds 8 days up until the first moonless evening after full moon. In addition, this past year has seen a considerable number of nights that were clear after midnight, when I don't observe either.

Yes, I'll readily admit that clear skies come less frequently than they used to a couple of decades back and that they certainly do vary in number from year to year randomly. But the claims of endless months of unbroken cloudy nights just cannot be taken as realistic and is not reflected in the observing logs of other serious hobbyists I'm familiar with around the country.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/06/13 11:49 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5958360 - 07/07/13 01:02 AM Attachment (3 downloads)

I have had many clear nights on weekends near the new moon over the past year or so. I am observing tonight at Arunah Hill in the Berkshire Hills of western MA. Last year I observed 8 consecutive months up here. This is the third time this year. Despite what the CSC forecasted for tonight. The sky is clear and the transparency is above average. I find that the CSC is often inaccurate. Being at 2000 feet of elevation also helps by being above a lot of the haze and humidity that plagues valley locations.
Barry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bakes
member


Reged: 01/06/09

Loc: Stratford, CT
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5958371 - 07/07/13 01:12 AM

For me the problem is not so much cloudy nights. But rather bad seeing/transparency. The last three nights here in CT have been absolutely cloudless. Unfortunately, I am unable to make out the bowl stars of the Big Dipper due to haze. Vega, directly overhead as I type this, is scintillating madly. DSOs, close double stars, and planetary details are not resolvable under these conditions.

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!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bakes
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Usquebae
super member
*****

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!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bakes
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
star drop
Snowed In
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bakes
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Gil V
sage


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!!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Phillip Creed
Idiot Seeking Village
*****

Reged: 07/25/06

Loc: Canton, OH
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Phillip Creed
Idiot Seeking Village
*****

Reged: 07/25/06

Loc: Canton, OH
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5972774 - 07/15/13 05:35 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Quote:

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




If you look at the National Climate Data Center's data for # clear days / year, the worst location appears to be Elkins, WV, just west of the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. One of the reasons for Elkins being so bad is the fog that's a big, big problem on any night where the breeze dies down. Going up higher in the mountains helps cut down on fog, but you'll get more orographic (upslope) clouds, so it's largely a wash.

One thing to remember is that it's not the # clear days that matters, but the amount of clear NIGHTS. Most of NOAA's sky cover data relates to daytime conditions only. I've attached a photo from a previous post that shows avg. long-term nighttime cloud cover since 2000 in the northeastern U.S., c/o NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center / Giovanni online data.

As far as what the worst state East of the Mississippi is for stargazing, you could also make a case for Michigan, as you've got (a) lots of clouds, but also (b) ridiculously-long summer twilight and little true-dark time in the warm season, and (c) they're still clinging to the Eastern Time Zone, which helps make sunset and the arrival of truly dark skies ridiculously late as well.

Since 75W is the standard meridian for the Eastern Time Zone, anything west of 82.5W should be in the Central Time Zone. Thus, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee should entirely be in the Central Time Zone. That alone would improve these states' ratings among stargazers. It won't help the weather, but it at least will be getting dark an hour earlier.

Clear(er) Skies,
Phil


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Phillip Creed
Idiot Seeking Village
*****

Reged: 07/25/06

Loc: Canton, OH
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Phillip Creed]
      #5972793 - 07/15/13 05:46 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

Here's another NASA / GSFC / Giovanni picture, with average sky cover since 2000 over the Continental U.S. and southern Canada.

If you ever needed a reason to go to / join Deerlick Astronomy Village, look no further. The central third of Georgia's about as good odds as you'll find east of the Mississippi.

Clear Skies,
Phil


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Phillip Creed]
      #5975580 - 07/17/13 08:53 AM

I noted a rather interesting weather event yesterday afternoon that perhaps has ties to this thread, although I'm not exactly sure of its cause.

In NY's Hudson Valley yesterday morning (July 16th) it was hazy, hot, and very humid with the usual accompanying miky white skies. What weak breeze there was came roughly from the south. Conditions would have been hopeless for observing had it been night.

Early in the afternoon the wind direction abruptly shifted to the N-NW and became fresh. The air suddenly was much drier and the sky cleared to a beautiful deep blue almost immediately and the clearest in weeks! These conditions prevailed unchanged for several hours until about dinner time. Then a wave of clouds swept in from the north and conditions returned to the earlier oppressive ones. Although the wind direction continued to be from the NW, rather murky skies were maintained through midnight and at dark were too poor for observing what with the quarter moon illuminating the haze.

As someone with a decided long-term interest in meteorology, as well as astronomy, I have seen a lot of interesting weather events in my region. This one, however, was singularly odd and rather difficult to account for given the positions of the weather systems and fronts at the time.

Then again, this sort of thing kinda fits in with the bizarre weather patterns of this summer. Who ever saw the flow of systems in the continental U.S. running east to west before?

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/17/13 08:58 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5976008 - 07/17/13 01:30 PM

I also noted the "dry slot", for lack of a better term, that you describe as it passed over my area (northern New Jersey) somewhat later in the day... this relatively small area of low humidity (approximately 70 miles or so in extent, and somewhat trapezoidal in outline) was clearly visible to me on the satellite feed solely in water vapor mode - it was hardly noticeable on the other feeds. I thought it quite striking, and looked in on it from time to time; it seemed to appear fairly suddenly, in less than a half-hour's time, and after several hours tracking SSW it slowly vanished into the surrounding humidity.

Having been a keen follower of satellite imagery for many years, I have observed this and similar phenomenon previously, but without being able to deduce the source of the sudden drop in water vapor; thus I can offer no explanation.

Fred


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Greyhaven
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5976807 - 07/17/13 08:48 PM

Solid cloud cover here tonight. I got in 3 nights in a row of something like observing this week so I'm not going to complain. Sounds like a war zone around here tonight Fireworks going off pretty close by. Glad I have a steel roof on the observatory and good insurance. I'm pretty sure that if they made people who buy fireworks around here take an IQ test they would not allow sales to anyone that would pass the test.
Be Well
Grey


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5977704 - 07/18/13 11:18 AM

Grey - You folks up there in Maine got the wonderful benefits of a backdoor cool front a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, it only got westward through all of Maine, northern New Hampshire and to a little east of Boston, before beginning a slow retreat. I've often seen such fronts make it all the way through PA and Jersey in July, but not this year, at least so far.

BrooksObs


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
star drop
Snowed In
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5981142 - 07/20/13 10:13 AM

This past winter I missed seeing the much of the sky. So far I have not seen the summer Milky Way. A cold front finally moved through during the night wreaking lots of devastation. Clouds and high humidity still remain.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Dave M
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/03/04

Loc: Ohio
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Phillip Creed]
      #5981454 - 07/20/13 01:34 PM

How "true" that is

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: star drop]
      #5983644 - 07/21/13 09:03 PM

Quote:

So far I have not seen the summer Milky Way. A cold front finally moved through during the night wreaking lots of devastation. Clouds and high humidity still remain.




I saw that front coming on the radar, but it dissipated before it got here..... after a week of hot and hazy, we really need rain! I'll pass on the devastation, though.... At least I got my hay made (cut/raked/baled) finally........
And I was able to discern the milky way most nights till the moon got near full.
R


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JoeR
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Columbus, OH
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: roscoe]
      #5984775 - 07/22/13 04:54 PM

Quote:

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.





Yup if we want to experience true mag 7 dark skies in Ohio it's a 3 hour road trip to Calhoun County WV. I've sadly never experienced it and I hear it is quite good there.

We finally got a break with a quick window of clear nights from the 11th to the 17th. I made the most of it observing and imaging as much as I could until the Moon got too bright. With work schedule and long summer evenings I only got 60 minutes of actual darkness on the weeknight sessions (abolish DST already!) The humidity was rather intense on one night I was constantly wiping down eyepieces. Now we're back to non-stop rain & floods but at least it's the full moon right now. The Farmers Almanac is predicting a dryer than normal Autumn this year let's hope it is right.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)


Extra information
10 registered and 19 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  cildarith, panhard, tecmage 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 3078

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics