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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5600238 - 01/01/13 07:58 PM

Quote:

Be advised that about 75% of Hawaii is horrible for astronomy and another 15% is marginal. The remaining 10% that is great for astronomy is primarily located in specific areas of the Big Island and Maui. Oahu/Honolulu is packed with people/light pollution and the best places to stargaze are now closed to public access.



Now that is just plain sad. I must admit Chris that you just burst my bubble. I guess we still have Chile!


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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5600737 - 01/02/13 05:15 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Be advised that about 75% of Hawaii is horrible for astronomy and another 15% is marginal. The remaining 10% that is great for astronomy is primarily located in specific areas of the Big Island and Maui. Oahu/Honolulu is packed with people/light pollution and the best places to stargaze are now closed to public access.



Now that is just plain sad. I must admit Chris that you just burst my bubble. I guess we still have Chile!




Why does that burst your bubble?

All it means that you have to put some thought into where in Hawaii you choose to live!

After all, the same would go for Chile...


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5600777 - 01/02/13 07:07 AM

Coming in late to this thread, but thanks for the work you put into the map, and for confirming that I live in the worst spot in the country for observing!

-Dan


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5600857 - 01/02/13 08:48 AM

Quote:

Quote:


Now that is just plain sad. I must admit Chris that you just burst my bubble. I guess we still have Chile!




Why does that burst your bubble?

All it means that you have to put some thought into where in Hawaii you choose to live!

After all, the same would go for Chile...



LOL - I guess that's true. My son just came back from his honeymoon in Hawaii and said that it was raining a good portion of the time. I think it is somewhat of an urban myth that Hawaii is one of the best places on earth for amateur astronomy. Hermie is like most of us when we think of the "Mecca" for astronomy. Yet light pollution exists just about everywhere that man does, and rain or clouds happen pretty near everywhere man does too Which proves your point for sure: Knowing the area is a good thing


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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5601289 - 01/02/13 01:48 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Now that is just plain sad. I must admit Chris that you just burst my bubble. I guess we still have Chile!




Why does that burst your bubble?

All it means that you have to put some thought into where in Hawaii you choose to live!

After all, the same would go for Chile...



LOL - I guess that's true. My son just came back from his honeymoon in Hawaii and said that it was raining a good portion of the time. I think it is somewhat of an urban myth that Hawaii is one of the best places on earth for amateur astronomy. Hermie is like most of us when we think of the "Mecca" for astronomy. Yet light pollution exists just about everywhere that man does, and rain or clouds happen pretty near everywhere man does too Which proves your point for sure: Knowing the area is a good thing




The Big Island of Hawaii has ten of the thirteen major climate types, all in one island! Where I live in Waikoloa Village, we got 3" of rain in 2012, 4" of rain in 2011 and 6" of rain in 2010. We average about 300-330 clear nights a year. However over in Waimea, only 30 minutes away, they got about 120" of rain on the wet side of town! Some parts of the East side of the island (the wet side) get up to 250" of rain a year.

I have a 16" personal scope and here in Waikoloa Village, three of my neighbors have scopes bigger than mine!

Moving to Hawaii to enjoy astronomy can be very rewarding but you will need to carefully do your climate/people/resources research before deciding where to live.

Thirteen world-class professional observatories on Mauna Kea can't be wrong!

I hope this helps.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5601446 - 01/02/13 03:39 PM

Quote:

Moving to Hawaii to enjoy astronomy can be very rewarding but you will need to carefully do your climate/people/resources research before deciding where to live.

Thirteen world-class professional observatories on Mauna Kea can't be wrong!

I hope this helps.



I think I speak for the rest of us when I say that I appreciate your attention to detail Chris. As I hope to choose one of the best places in North America to move my trailer, attention to climate and light pollution is the primary reason for this thread. But you make very good points when you include people/resources in there as well. Putting it all together is proving to be a tad more tricky than I originally anticipated.


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year [Re: CMacD]
      #5647787 - 01/28/13 10:48 AM

January has been a rather blah month for most of North America. Southwest states and Florida Keys continue to be the best places to view on the continent. Nothing new there. Although Utah and Nevada picked up more clear skies this month compared to December as did southern Idaho and Oregon.



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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5701217 - 02/26/13 09:17 AM

February has been very similar to January. I had a chance to attend the WSP in the Florida Keys this year and can confirm the mostly cloudless skies and fair seeing. During the week of the new moon the atmosphere would be rated 4/5. We got some fair images of Jupiter. Other than the keys however it looks like the southwest was about the only area with reasonable skies for the month. Its starting to get interesting watching as the different areas of the continent show their monthly transitions.



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rlandsboro
super member


Reged: 02/23/12

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ. USA
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5704384 - 02/27/13 10:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Be advised that about 75% of Hawaii is horrible for astronomy and another 15% is marginal. The remaining 10% that is great for astronomy is primarily located in specific areas of the Big Island and Maui. Oahu/Honolulu is packed with people/light pollution and the best places to stargaze are now closed to public access.




I'm just curious - what part of Maui would you recommend for astronomy?


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Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: rlandsboro]
      #5704526 - 02/27/13 11:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Be advised that about 75% of Hawaii is horrible for astronomy and another 15% is marginal. The remaining 10% that is great for astronomy is primarily located in specific areas of the Big Island and Maui. Oahu/Honolulu is packed with people/light pollution and the best places to stargaze are now closed to public access.




I'm just curious - what part of Maui would you recommend for astronomy?




The summit of Haleakala is the most important part!


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OLDTIMER77
member


Reged: 01/26/11

Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5709970 - 03/03/13 05:47 AM

An interesting question CMAcD of Ontario, Canada asks and one I would ask of amateur astronomers living in England trying to observe 'anything' in this Country.

Ofcourse the question of clear nights is somewhat subjective: one observer's interpretation of a clear night sky is another's view of only 30/40% cloud covered.
Here in Buckinghamshire I have only seen 3 totally clear night skies in the last 18months and tempting as it was to just observe and photo I decided to renew my CGE PRO:2+4 align/calib stars because of the rare opportunity of selecting widely placed reasonably low stars in the North and Eastern night skies.
This exercise was very worth while because it greatly improved my 'Scope GOTO performances, the following night which amazingly was also 100% clear.

However it was almost 5months later before another totally clear night sky became visible.
So! in between these rarities we amateurs in Britain have to be satisfied with a night sky in which perhaps only 30% or maybe 70% is revealing 'beautiful stellar objects'.

Another issue of course is how much of the sky is visible from your own back yard without too much obstruction from neighbours houses. roof and trees etc.
Fortunately to have a small observatory, my observing is restricted to NW:SE:some Southerly aspects and these are only visible at altitudes in XS of 30deg.

BUT if I am able to see most all the stars visible at these locations I would consider myself lucky to have a ClearNight Sky.

Please excuse the longish post but the point I wished to emphasise is that Clearskies does not necessary mean what it says:
However I will end wishing everyone:
"May each of you have the best possible Clear Night Skies for your future observing.
Thank you for reading.
OldTimer


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: OLDTIMER77]
      #5710683 - 03/03/13 01:41 PM

I understand what you are saying OldTimer. I live in the country now but before we moved out here we used to live in a city of about 300,000 people. A lot of light pollution there. Now about 45 min north of that is much less light polluted but I live among the trees I like to observe visually but would much rather be doing more astronomical discovery. To do that with any frequency you really need a lot of clear sky - in every sense of the word. Hence this thread and the desire to find the best place possible for a remote observatory. Now I am finding out that clear skies are only part of the battle. Whoda thunk?

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5773127 - 04/02/13 03:19 PM

March. I have been comparing the weather across North America now since late November 2012 and Arizona is starting to become the "clear" choice for sky watching (for the winter months at least). New Mexico, Texas, and the Florida Keys didn't fair so well this time around. It turns out that this past month Manitoba and British Columbia had the largest clear areas on the continent. I bet that doesn't happen very often. Not too many observatories built in those places. I suppose all one would need is to brave the -20 degree weather and shovel a few feet of snow off of the observatory roof and you would be set



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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5773797 - 04/02/13 07:38 PM

Clark,

Being in New Mexico I can agree with the trends you show. I can totally agree with the results for AZ.

Key highlights here in NM:
-- DRY CLIMATE
-- High altitude
-- 310+ clear skies

Moving from the Midwest I not only far more days of viewing, but also the skies were much clearer. It was like I got a new telescope.

I am now convinced using a larger size telescope out east is completely useless. Yes, it is better than nothing, the difference in performance between the east coast and southwest is profound.

Oh and no mosquitos and all that.


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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5774841 - 04/03/13 08:20 AM

I've been keeping an eye on this thread and up until this last map posting, it looked pretty accurate. However, where I live, in the mountains about 5 miles NW of Prescott,

the later part of Feb. and most all of March sure seemed to have had poor conditions with high clouds most late afternoons and nights.

Edited by johne (04/03/13 08:40 AM)


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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: johne]
      #5775028 - 04/03/13 09:30 AM

Quote:

I've been keeping an eye on this thread and up until this last map posting, it looked pretty accurate. However, where I live, in the mountains about 5 miles NW of Prescott, the later part of Feb. and most all of March sure seemed to have had poor conditions with high clouds most late afternoons and nights.




Very interesting Johne. Thanks for pointing this out. I waited a little longer than usual to post this month because my machine somehow bungled the downloading of 10 days worth of data from the 8th until the 18th. I added the first few days of April in an attempt to minimize the loss but you caught me . It looks like 10 days over the course of the month can really make a big difference. Good catch.


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johne
sage
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ.
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: CMacD]
      #5775280 - 04/03/13 11:12 AM

I just wonder whether the system that captures the information is not that sensitive to thin, high/cirrus clouds? (Just speculating.)

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CMacD
super member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: johne]
      #5775593 - 04/03/13 01:36 PM

Quote:

I just wonder whether the system that captures the information is not that sensitive to thin, high/cirrus clouds? (Just speculating.)




The images are a prediction only so I would expect some discrepancies with reality. I should also mention however that I am capturing real infra-red satellite images 3 times a night as well. I was planning on pasting them together in a final collage after a full year but could place them along side of the predicted "seeing" images also.


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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: johne]
      #5776071 - 04/03/13 05:53 PM

Quote:

I just wonder whether the system that captures the information is not that sensitive to thin, high/cirrus clouds? (Just speculating.)



Meteorologists have a different idea of "clear" than we astronomers. I frequently see forecasts of "clear" and even descriptions of current conditions that show "clear," when all they really mean is that, somewhere above that deck of cirrostratus, there are probably some stars.


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Mike Clemens
Frozen to Eyepiece
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Alaska, USA
Re: Clear nights per year new [Re: Calypte]
      #5841771 - 05/05/13 02:24 PM

Thus concludes the worst year I remember for deep sky pics in Alaska in the last 10? I think I had 5 sessions this year. Looking forward to September.... I mean, except for everything else but astrophotography. I worked hard to set myself up for daytime photography this last four months, sort of throwing in the towel.

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