At 54.7ºN here – Jupiter & Saturn getting to 13º max currently, but still getting, with persistence, some fair views time to time – and I see folks with them up to 20º higher not happy.....WHAT???......I would love to have them even 5º higher......
An updated quote of what I said some weeks ago.....
“Since January a lot of early rising to catch Jupiter & Saturn being in vain: some >20 (now >60 ) attempts with Jupiter has got me five (now 9) decent-seeing views (one of Saturn – now 5). Just as well I enjoy the early hours regardless.......and don’t look – don’t see.... Systematic observing.......forget it.....but happy to be wrong.”
Even with a favourable/minimal jetstream I always check for ground-level turbulence (often worse in summer) by noting the flickering of distant street lights (one half to ~3 miles). All other things being equal this turns out time and again when those are steady then the definition is usually at a usable level. Checking for street light flicker we need to be sure those distant lights are not shining through tree foliage.....!
Another factor with contrast; even with a steady image: at such low altitudes we are looking through a much longer path of particulates in the atmosphere affecting what I call a Crispness Factor. In spite of catching seeing even as good as Antoniadi II that particulate-affected factor seems invariably to reduce contrast in varying degrees until planets are >25º high.
What seems to favour my lo-alt views is that I’m observing across miles of open countryside and the terrain sloping away steeply from about a quarter mile out. Maybe also reducing my particulate-quotient somewhat....?
Edited by David Gray, 20 June 2019 - 12:11 PM.