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My peak observing time is running out :(

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#1 REC

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 03:52 PM

I was out about a week ago and Orion was in peak placement for me. Dead center south and at 35* latitude for my location it just high enough to also show Canis Major just below with the blazing Sirius ! It was only 7pm and dark enough to start off my evenings observing. For the next 3 hours, I had seen just about all that I wanted and it was only 10pm. Still had an hour or so to catch up with some reading or TV before going asleep.

 

I have not been out much since that night as the weather has been blah at best. This week is the same with more rain and clouds and hate to waste this precious nights without the moon in the way to observe DSO's and there are plenty out there! I see on my moon calendar that we only have a little over a week before the moon starts to become an issue. What is far worse on the calendar is DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, is only a month away! I hate DST!!!!! It used to be bad when it didn't start until April and not it's it's March 11 bawling.gif The sunset here now is 6pm and after DST kicks in, it will be 7ish and won't really get dark enough for me until 8pm. I would tell my friends that from October though March was my prime time observing time. Well, hear I am at the end of "My" season, so I'll have to make the best of it going into March and hope the last 10 days of this season will be clear. You hear that Sky God!



#2 bobito

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 04:03 PM

Don't worry... it will all still be up their next year.  ;)

 

I like this time of year because I can setup on my patio.  I only see half the sky from there but this time of year it gets me Andromeda, Double Cluster, Pleiades, and Orion Nebula.  Plus I only have to carry everything just a few feet from the garage an don't need to roll out the long extension cord to the yard.  Also don't need to worry about dog poop... or any "marking" of my tripod legs.  ;) 

 

Plus, as you said, I can do plenty of viewing and still be packed up well before midnight. 

 

Bob



#3 REC

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 04:07 PM

Don't worry... it will all still be up their next year.  wink.gif

 

I like this time of year because I can setup on my patio.  I only see half the sky from there but this time of year it gets me Andromeda, Double Cluster, Pleiades, and Orion Nebula.  Plus I only have to carry everything just a few feet from the garage an don't need to roll out the long extension cord to the yard.  Also don't need to worry about dog poop... or any "marking" of my tripod legs.  wink.gif

 

Plus, as you said, I can do plenty of viewing and still be packed up well before midnight. 

 

Bob

Patio is nice, that's what I use. My scope is in the kitchen and all I have to do is open the door and 10' out to the patio, I have a great view of the east, south and zenith sky.


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#4 Tony Flanders

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 05:51 PM

I hate DST!!!!!

I am retired, so DST has very little effect on me. As far as astronomy is concerned, the biggest effect has to do with the timing of the evening rush hour when driving out of town to darker sites. Even before I retired, all my jobs had flexible work hours, so DST affected me mainly through my daughter's school schedule.

I normally don't start to get grumpy about the short nights until the beginning of May. After that, things go downhill fast, between short nights and biting bugs. Then life begins to look rosy again in late August.

 

June is the pits here in the Northeast. Both mosquitoes and black flies at their worst, generally poor transparency, and nights that are over almost before they begin.


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#5 earlyriser

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:14 PM

Orion is the King, no doubt. The whole Gemini, Orion, Taurus, Auriga region is just stunning on a clear frosty night. But summer means Scorpius, Sagittarius, and Cygnus. Plus, a lot more clear nights than in winter, at least in Ohio. 


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#6 ascii

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:53 PM

I was out about a week ago and Orion was in peak placement for me. Dead center south and at 35* latitude for my location it just high enough to also show Canis Major just below with the blazing Sirius ! It was only 7pm and dark enough to start off my evenings observing. For the next 3 hours, I had seen just about all that I wanted and it was only 10pm. Still had an hour or so to catch up with some reading or TV before going asleep.

 

I have not been out much since that night as the weather has been blah at best. This week is the same with more rain and clouds and hate to waste this precious nights without the moon in the way to observe DSO's and there are plenty out there! I see on my moon calendar that we only have a little over a week before the moon starts to become an issue. What is far worse on the calendar is DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, is only a month away! I hate DST!!!!! It used to be bad when it didn't start until April and not it's it's March 11 bawling.gif The sunset here now is 6pm and after DST kicks in, it will be 7ish and won't really get dark enough for me until 8pm. I would tell my friends that from October though March was my prime time observing time. Well, hear I am at the end of "My" season, so I'll have to make the best of it going into March and hope the last 10 days of this season will be clear. You hear that Sky God!

Agreed!  A pox on daylight saving Satan’s time.  Late sunsets compounded by the hour shift are evil.



#7 star drop

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:02 PM

I haven't seen the winter sky in years.



#8 nickcodybarrett

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:15 PM

Don't feel bad. I cant remember the last time I brought the scope out. Maybe somewhere around 8 months. What I need to do is buy a nice grab-n-go refractor. I almost did one time but I blew my money on something else. I do have a nice set of 15x70 binoculars. They act as my grab n go for now. Maybe that's what you need.



#9 eklf

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:54 PM

I was out about a week ago and Orion was in peak placement for me. Dead center south and at 35* latitude for my location it just high enough to also show Canis Major just below with the blazing Sirius ! It was only 7pm and dark enough to start off my evenings observing. For the next 3 hours, I had seen just about all that I wanted and it was only 10pm. Still had an hour or so to catch up with some reading or TV before going asleep.

 

I have not been out much since that night as the weather has been blah at best. This week is the same with more rain and clouds and hate to waste this precious nights without the moon in the way to observe DSO's and there are plenty out there! I see on my moon calendar that we only have a little over a week before the moon starts to become an issue. What is far worse on the calendar is DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, is only a month away! I hate DST!!!!! It used to be bad when it didn't start until April and not it's it's March 11 bawling.gif The sunset here now is 6pm and after DST kicks in, it will be 7ish and won't really get dark enough for me until 8pm. I would tell my friends that from October though March was my prime time observing time. Well, hear I am at the end of "My" season, so I'll have to make the best of it going into March and hope the last 10 days of this season will be clear. You hear that Sky God!

I hear you and can commiserate, Neighbour!

 

Was it last thursday that you observed?  It must be...as I recollect that the was only clear evening last week.  And I had to miss it due to prior obligations.

 

It was cloudy for a week before then.

It has been cloudy since then.

Its forecast to be cloudy for the next 10 days

*sigh*


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#10 beatlejuice

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:37 PM

Coincidentally my prime observing time is April to October.  We could share equipment and save a lot of cashgrin.gif

 

Eric


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#11 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:38 AM

 

I hate DST!!!!!

I am retired, so DST has very little effect on me. As far as astronomy is concerned, the biggest effect has to do with the timing of the evening rush hour when driving out of town to darker sites. Even before I retired, all my jobs had flexible work hours, so DST affected me mainly through my daughter's school schedule.

I normally don't start to get grumpy about the short nights until the beginning of May. After that, things go downhill fast, between short nights and biting bugs. Then life begins to look rosy again in late August.

 

June is the pits here in the Northeast. Both mosquitoes and black flies at their worst, generally poor transparency, and nights that are over almost before they begin.

 

 

I am somewhat in the same boat, retired so DST means little.  However, I am far enough south that there's always at least 6 hours between astronomical dusk and astronomical dawn and the climate is dry so mosquitoes and other flying pests are just not an issue.   Winter nights can be close to freezing with 20 mph plus winds but this winter has been relatively warm.

 

Jon



#12 nicknacknock

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 06:55 AM

Since there were two topics with same title and both had posts, I merged everything into this thread. 

 

Let the complaining about DST continue - I don't like the concept myself either!



#13 HellsKitchen

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 07:54 AM

I have no problem with DST, infact I like it. I don't want my eyes ablated at 5am after driving home from a session at 4am :D 

 

The whole year here offers stacks of clear sky here, I prefer winter though, lots of very steady seeing and much less wind than summer. This coming winter, I won't be sleeping at all...



#14 ascii

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:10 AM

The European Union is looking into putting an end to DST.  Good for them!

 

https://arstechnica....-ministers-say/

 

If a decision is made to end the change, there’s the argument about whether to lock in to daylight time or standard time.  Many people are quite vocal about keeping daylight time year round.  Here are two noteworthy instances of nations going year-round daylight time.  Both attempts ended in failure.

 

The U.S. tried it in the 1970s.  The National Bureau of Standards found no savings in energy and found a statistically significant increase in fatalities for school children during the period.  While it could not say for certain that the increase was caused by the use of daylight time, the findings were certainly suggestive.

 

The Ars Technical article linked above tells of the failed Russian attempt to use year-round daylight time.

 

”Years ago, Russia tried to go on permanent summer time, but changed to permanent winter time in 2014 after the summer-time-in-winter change gave people stress and health problems when it stayed darker for longer during winter mornings, according to the BBC.”

 

My preferences are, in order, keep year-round standard time, keep changing as we do now, and dead last, go to year-round daylight time.


Edited by ascii, 14 February 2018 - 09:54 AM.

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#15 dusty99

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:31 AM

You could switch to mornings for awhile.  I've been getting out a couple of mornings per week for Mars, Jupiter, plus good targets through Cygnus, Lyra and Hercules (I was hoping to see Saturn this morning but the clouds rolled in overnight).  My viewing is limited to an hour or less, so I don't get up so early that I fall asleep at work. 😴

I keep one scope mounted in my garage, so I can pull it out while the coffee brews, then get some viewing in.  These sessions don't have the same character as long summer ones, but they're a welcome respite from my 50 hr/week job and they keep me interested.  On cloudy mornings like this one I visit CN or use skysafari to see what's on the other side of those clouds.


Edited by dusty99, 14 February 2018 - 08:36 AM.


#16 earlyriser

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:02 AM

The European Union is looking into putting an end to DST.  Good for them!

 

https://arstechnica....-ministers-say/

 

If a decision is made to end the change, there’s the argument about whether to lock in to daylight time or standard time.  Many people are quite vocal about keeping daylight time year round.  Here are two noteworthy instances of nations going year-round daylight time.  Both attempts ended in failure.

 

The U.S. tried it in the 1970s.  The National Bureau of Standards found no savings in energy and found a statistically significant increase in fatalities for school children during the period.  While it could say for certain that the increase was caused by the use of daylight time, the findings were certainly suggestive.

 

The Ars Technical article linked above tells of the failed Russian attempt to use year-round daylight time.

 

”Years ago, Russia tried to go on permanent summer time, but changed to permanent winter time in 2014 after the summer-time-in-winter change gave people stress and health problems when it stayed darker for longer during winter mornings, according to the BBC.”

 

My preferences are, in order, keep year-round standard time, keep changing as we do now, and dead last, go to year-round daylight time.

I think Congress should mandate 25 hour days and set Pi = 3.0 so that it is easier to remember.

 

On a more serious note, since I do a lot of observing in the early morning, DST actually helps me out.


Edited by earlyriser, 14 February 2018 - 09:03 AM.

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#17 Starkid2u

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:17 AM

 

I was out about a week ago and Orion was in peak placement for me. Dead center south and at 35* latitude for my location it just high enough to also show Canis Major just below with the blazing Sirius ! It was only 7pm and dark enough to start off my evenings observing. For the next 3 hours, I had seen just about all that I wanted and it was only 10pm. Still had an hour or so to catch up with some reading or TV before going asleep.

 

I have not been out much since that night as the weather has been blah at best. This week is the same with more rain and clouds and hate to waste this precious nights without the moon in the way to observe DSO's and there are plenty out there! I see on my moon calendar that we only have a little over a week before the moon starts to become an issue. What is far worse on the calendar is DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, is only a month away! I hate DST!!!!! It used to be bad when it didn't start until April and not it's it's March 11 bawling.gif The sunset here now is 6pm and after DST kicks in, it will be 7ish and won't really get dark enough for me until 8pm. I would tell my friends that from October though March was my prime time observing time. Well, hear I am at the end of "My" season, so I'll have to make the best of it going into March and hope the last 10 days of this season will be clear. You hear that Sky God!

Agreed!  A pox on daylight saving Satan’s time.  Late sunsets compounded by the hour shift are evil.

 

Sorry, but we all don't see it that way. I think it's a Godsend, astronomy or no astronomy. I'm warm, I only need an hour or two of night and I love my barbecue as well. Easier to cook later when it's more convenient for me. I can think of a dozen reasons why I think it's great but you get the point. Conversely, I hate ST. Dark for an uncomfortably long period of time, cold 99% of the time and people shut down early. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. You don't win, but neither do I. Perhaps it works best that way...

 

STARKID2U



#18 ascii

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:53 AM

 

 

I was out about a week ago and Orion was in peak placement for me. Dead center south and at 35* latitude for my location it just high enough to also show Canis Major just below with the blazing Sirius ! It was only 7pm and dark enough to start off my evenings observing. For the next 3 hours, I had seen just about all that I wanted and it was only 10pm. Still had an hour or so to catch up with some reading or TV before going asleep.

 

I have not been out much since that night as the weather has been blah at best. This week is the same with more rain and clouds and hate to waste this precious nights without the moon in the way to observe DSO's and there are plenty out there! I see on my moon calendar that we only have a little over a week before the moon starts to become an issue. What is far worse on the calendar is DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, is only a month away! I hate DST!!!!! It used to be bad when it didn't start until April and not it's it's March 11 bawling.gif The sunset here now is 6pm and after DST kicks in, it will be 7ish and won't really get dark enough for me until 8pm. I would tell my friends that from October though March was my prime time observing time. Well, hear I am at the end of "My" season, so I'll have to make the best of it going into March and hope the last 10 days of this season will be clear. You hear that Sky God!

Agreed!  A pox on daylight saving Satan’s time.  Late sunsets compounded by the hour shift are evil.

 

Sorry, but we all don't see it that way. I think it's a Godsend, astronomy or no astronomy. I'm warm, I only need an hour or two of night and I love my barbecue as well. Easier to cook later when it's more convenient for me. I can think of a dozen reasons why I think it's great but you get the point. Conversely, I hate ST. Dark for an uncomfortably long period of time, cold 99% of the time and people shut down early. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. You don't win, but neither do I. Perhaps it works best that way...

 

STARKID2U

 

 

I’m not sure which scheme you are advocating.  Is it keep the twice yearly change or go to year-round daylight time?

 

If your preference is for year-round daylight time, see my second post.

 

https://www.cloudyni...t/#entry8398644



#19 REC

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:06 AM

Orion is the King, no doubt. The whole Gemini, Orion, Taurus, Auriga region is just stunning on a clear frosty night. But summer means Scorpius, Sagittarius, and Cygnus. Plus, a lot more clear nights than in winter, at least in Ohio. 

Agreed, that whole region in the sky is my favorite then the other summer region you mention.....without the bugs!



#20 REC

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:09 AM

 

I hate DST!!!!!

I am retired, so DST has very little effect on me. As far as astronomy is concerned, the biggest effect has to do with the timing of the evening rush hour when driving out of town to darker sites. Even before I retired, all my jobs had flexible work hours, so DST affected me mainly through my daughter's school schedule.

I normally don't start to get grumpy about the short nights until the beginning of May. After that, things go downhill fast, between short nights and biting bugs. Then life begins to look rosy again in late August.

 

June is the pits here in the Northeast. Both mosquitoes and black flies at their worst, generally poor transparency, and nights that are over almost before they black begin.

 

Agreed, I used to live up there. The black flies are out in May and then right after them come the pesky mosquitoes!



#21 REC

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:14 AM

 

I was out about a week ago and Orion was in peak placement for me. Dead center south and at 35* latitude for my location it just high enough to also show Canis Major just below with the blazing Sirius ! It was only 7pm and dark enough to start off my evenings observing. For the next 3 hours, I had seen just about all that I wanted and it was only 10pm. Still had an hour or so to catch up with some reading or TV before going asleep.

 

I have not been out much since that night as the weather has been blah at best. This week is the same with more rain and clouds and hate to waste this precious nights without the moon in the way to observe DSO's and there are plenty out there! I see on my moon calendar that we only have a little over a week before the moon starts to become an issue. What is far worse on the calendar is DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, is only a month away! I hate DST!!!!! It used to be bad when it didn't start until April and not it's it's March 11 bawling.gif The sunset here now is 6pm and after DST kicks in, it will be 7ish and won't really get dark enough for me until 8pm. I would tell my friends that from October though March was my prime time observing time. Well, hear I am at the end of "My" season, so I'll have to make the best of it going into March and hope the last 10 days of this season will be clear. You hear that Sky God!

I hear you and can commiserate, Neighbour!

 

Was it last thursday that you observed?  It must be...as I recollect that the was only clear evening last week.  And I had to miss it due to prior obligations.

 

It was cloudy for a week before then.

It has been cloudy since then.

Its forecast to be cloudy for the next 10 days

*sigh*

 

Yeah, I think so. Too bad you missed it, sky was great and not too cold out. This week sucks, so hope for clear skies next week.



#22 Slartibartfast

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:20 PM

To my mind, the DST debate sometimes seems like a debate between morning-people (anti-DST) vs. evening-people (pro-DST).  I am an evening person.  I love to stay up late.  I go into work late, and I work until late in the evening, then I come home and have a late dinner.  In my family, I am branded as the "one who is always late" (showing up for family events and such).  I would be perfectly fine of we stayed in DST all year round.  I think I'm with Starkid2u, and HellsKitchen on this.  Start of DST means when I get home from work, there is light enough for me to get work done around the yard.  DST means summer to me, and summer is my favorite time of the year.  I am lucky that in the summer I can do astronomy until 2-3am and still function at work the next day on only 4 hours of sleep (though it does catch up with me the next night).  However, I understand the hardship that it would put on morning people if we went to DST all year-round.  My daughter is a highschooler now and around the winter solstice she is up before the sun even on standard time.  So, it feels like transitioning between standard time and daylight savings time is the best compromise.  And that's my penny.gif penny.gif


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#23 Starkid2u

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:10 PM

O.K., I'm pro DST, let's make that clear. But seriously, I think the system works well the way it is. The "Morning People" have a tough go of it during the summer months. I get that. But I (and others like me) have a real bad time of it when it flips back to Standard Time and winter arrives. This is when the morning people shine, though and astronomy is one of the indicators they look forward to. And I can see that, too. So, you get and give back during the year. And so do I. Just different parts of the year, that's all. I think that's fair in the end. No 100% for you, no 100% for me. If it ain't broke, don't fix it...

 

STARKID2U


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#24 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:25 PM

As an astronomer, I dislike DST because it means that in the summer I have to wait an extra hour to observe.

 

As a cyclist,  Iiked DST because it meant I had an extra hour of riding time in the evening before the sun went down. No more riding home from work in the dark, longer rides after work on the way home,,

 

Jon


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#25 NYJohn S

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 06:36 PM

I’m also pro DST. I love the long summer days. I can be kayaking on a lake until 9:00pm or other outdoor activities. As far as observing, It works out for me. My family goes to bed and I can be out late without missing time spent with them. I’m self employed so I can stagger my hours if I need some extra sleep. This winter was brutal in the NE so I’m looking forward to the longer days, warmer weather and spring galaxies.


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