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I'd Rather Do It Myself

Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Chiefland Fall Star Party new [Re: Mike Harvey]
      #6177097 - 11/05/13 10:24 AM


Bob Schilling, Jack Huercamp and I once did an all-nighter when it was 17 degrees...we had ice on the scopes!

Only 17? This is a regular occurrence if you observe in winter in Michigan. If you can stand the numbing cold the skies can be very transparent here, too. Much better than in the summer.

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Tom Clark
professor emeritus

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: North of Deming, NM
Re: Chiefland Fall Star Party new [Re: Mike Harvey]
      #6180792 - 11/07/13 11:09 AM


As a Chiefland "regular" for more than 20 years, I'd have to say that the last two years have been rather atypical. Maybe it's just chance, or the jetstream might have moved over us and is bringing more cloudiness with it.
On top of everything else, it's been warmer than in the past (keep in mind, we weren't wearing jackets, and it was the end of October! ).
That warmth is conducive to the formation of low-level cloud cover.

As another Chiefland regular since it's founding 1985 (and I actually lived on the observing field for 14 years) Mike is not wrong. The summer skies usually clear after midnight, and the winter skies are clear far more often than not. Our old rule of thumb is in the summer we would have 1 clear night out of 3, and the fall-spring nights were 2 out of 3 clear. Almost every morning of the year I would let the dog out right before dawn, and the milky way was blazing across the sky. It sounds to me like the last couple of years were not normal. Best of luck in the future.

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Pooh-Bah Everywhere Else

Reged: 10/09/06

Re: Chiefland Fall Star Party new [Re: Tom Clark]
      #6181035 - 11/07/13 01:10 PM

On the whole, the last couple of years have had more than their share of cloudy nights, but it looks like things are starting to get back to normal at Chiefland. The last two Saturday nights on new moon weekend (October and November) were clear when we were on the field. This past Saturday was clear all night long, even though things got a bit dewy with the 90% humidity. Looking forward to those clear winter nights looming on the horizon!

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