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My peak observing time is running out :(

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#51 GeneT

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 11:11 PM

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 also hate DST. How do we get it changed?



#52 Redbetter

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:09 AM

I can understand why those far enough north don't like DST, somewhere past 40 degrees.  However, I like DST and look forward to it each year.  I detest the switch back to standard time, always have.  Hasn't mattered what my schedule was, whether rising early for work at the plant, or milking cows, or being on a much more flexible schedule. 

 

I have noticed that the club members that seem to hate DST the most are also the ones packing up to go home at 9 or 10 PM at a dark site.  ohmy.gif   I am just starting to hit my observing stride at those times (and the amount of traffic of people coming and going is finally starting to subside.)  There isn't much high quality DSO observing happening before 10PM...way too many traffic lighting interruptions even when observing alone.  The best time starts after midnight. For the short amount of time many observe at dark sites, I don't see that it is worth the packing, driving, set up, take down, repack and drive home.  shrug.gif   I figure if I don't get in a solid 4 hours of actual observing, it is hard to justify the time and effort getting there and back. 

 

With DST I have time to finish dinner and drive to a dark site after the rush hours.  During standard time I am simply missing observing time, and even so am mostly observing alone as a result of that and the weather which deters others.  Plus if it is a club site during standard time I typically cannot arrive until well after dark, which isn't helpful to those wanting to pack up early anyway.  Other parts of life and family dictate the schedule.  DST smoothes some of the conflicts.  Plus during the non-astro hours, I can actually get something done in the late afternoon/early evening with daylight!   

 

It is the same with other activities as well, DST gives me a chance to collect family members and head somewhere in daylight after work hours.  Camping, backpacking, etc. are all better if I can get to the place I plan to sleep before sunset. 

 

Now if I want to rant about something...breakfast menus that supplant serving what you go to a fast food place to pick up.  Try finding a simple fast hamburger rather than breakfast menu items after a late night observing session but before 6 am.  If I want a quick breakfast on a roll, biscuit, tortilla, or toast I will save the extra stop (and money) and make it in 5 minutes when I get home...and it will taste better.  Same problem happens at airports where people are coming in from all time zones and areas of the world...and certain pizza places that are paying a fortune for the real estate won't serve pizza because they are still on their "breakfast menu".  lol.gif  Got wonder what sort of business genius is running those operations, turning away eager, hungry customers in a busy terminal.  Sorry, I'm a process optimization guy, so when I look at the sunk lease cost, and labor that is there doing little/nothing because people aren't buying breakfast from a pizza chain, I can only shake my head at turning way almost pure profit.   



#53 geoffl

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 06:54 AM

I was up at just after 4am and noticed that the sky was clear-ish, so by the time I had fed the cat, made coffee, put on extra clothes, got out my 10" Dob; alignment was complete by 04:45. The local council, as an energy-saving measure, turns off most of the street lights from midnight to 05:30, so background lighting levels were low, and no bedroom lights on, or central heating boilers firing-up to cause heat haze above the adjacent houses.

 

I've just acquired a Celestron 7-21mm zoom and I wanted to compare it with my Baader 8-24mm, using Jupiter and the Galilean moons (super focus aids). Nature's neutral-density filter (big bank of cloud) made it more of a challenge, but worthwhile - I still prefer the (much more expensive) Baader, but the Celestron is not bad.

 

Had DST been in effect here (or "British Summer Time" as we call it in the UK), it would have been 05:45 onwards, with street lighting ON, central heating boilers ON at full heat output, and the odd upstairs light ON as the workers start their day. I am glad that we have not adopted Central European time (1 hour in advance for normal & DST).

 

Geoff


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#54 REC

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 11:51 AM

We have had heavy rainfall for the 10 days or so.  It is predicted to start raining again by Wednesday, with some areas to reach several inches by the time it ends.  The streams are above bankful with many having flooded over the last week.  Prediction for more flooding on the way.

 

Randyjust

Sorry Randy! Looks like the whole SE is under clouds and rain every day it seems. Thought I would at least get a few minutes to just look at the moon last night, but clouds came in right after sunset! March 11th is creeping up every day.



#55 Tony Flanders

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 01:34 PM

I have noticed that the club members that seem to hate DST the most are also the ones packing up to go home at 9 or 10 PM at a dark site.  ohmy.gif


Well, to put this in perspective, I normally go to bed around 10 p.m. on non-observing nights. So while I do usually stay up well past that hour when observing, my brain and eyes tend to become distinctly less acute sometime between 11 and midnight.
 

I am just starting to hit my observing stride at those times (and the amount of traffic of people coming and going is finally starting to subside.)  There isn't much high quality DSO observing happening before 10PM...way too many traffic lighting interruptions even when observing alone.  The best time starts after midnight.


I try to avoid observing at spots frequented by other people -- I find them distracting at best. And I certainly try to avoid spots that are exposed to the headlights of cars passing by. But I agree, both of those problems do become a lot less acute after midnight.

 

Conversely, an issue in many of thesuburban sites that I use is that parks often officially close at 9 p.m., and in some towns on-street parking becomes illegal around midnight. So it's best to observe as early as possible to minimize potential hassles from the police. Yet another advantage to observing in winter ...



#56 payner

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 06:09 PM

 

We have had heavy rainfall for the 10 days or so.  It is predicted to start raining again by Wednesday, with some areas to reach several inches by the time it ends.  The streams are above bankful with many having flooded over the last week.  Prediction for more flooding on the way.

 

Randy

Sorry Randy! Looks like the whole SE is under clouds and rain every day it seems. Thought I would at least get a few minutes to just look at the moon last night, but clouds came in right after sunset! March 11th is creeping up every day.

 

There was heavy rainfall overnight and this morning that cause local road flooding, with more heavy rainfall forecast through the weekend.  Hopeful after that we all get a good break from the precipitation and dry out a bit.  Late winter heavy rainfall is not uncommon, but this is a bit more than that.

 

I would at least like them to push DST back to first Sunday of April as it was before the latest creep toward year-round DST.  Alas, I believe through talking to folks without an interest in astronomy, the overwhelming majority wants to see DST become permanent.

 

Randy



#57 REC

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 12:04 PM

Well, here it is, one week left..Storms have gone and all we have left is high winds, but sunny and clear. The rest of the week looks good and with the full moon just over, I will try and be out every night observing. Sun sets at 6:22 and Orion was still in a good spot at 7:30 last night. All the other favorites, Gemini, Auriga and that area of the sky is directly overhead, where the least of my light pollution is. So with some favorable transparency, I will do a lot of DSO hunting this week. Get my 8" SCT and my 10" Dob out that has been sitting for some time. Also bring out my anti-gravity chair, rest my back for a while and scan the sky with my bino's:)

 

Clear skies all!


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