I'm cobbling together a 24" build and have reached the stage where I have to cut out some of my front rocker board to accommodate the lower struts at an almost horizontal angle. I was considering it this afternoon with the struts hard down against the front rocker board, and thinking - hang on ... I never observe that low with my 16". Why would I bother with a 24? I've been around the block at this point and tried to nab the stuff down low north like notherners have done the same down south. OK, so maybe you do it on a whim and on the odd occasion ... but really ... the experienced observers know not to bother looking through pea soup. It's easier to jump on a plane and fly up (down?!) to an accommodating reflector owner in a better location.
So my question is this: at what latitude do you pull the pin for observing? And I'm not talking the bragging rights stuff where you saw something famous, but the working observing area where you hit the point of diminishing gains?
I have pretty clear skies where I am ... but geez ... not sure if I would bother at an attitude that warrant cuts in this rocker board at this point in my observing career.
I have a physical stop on my scope at +10°.
I rarely go below -35° declination, which is 20° above my horizon (I observe at 35°N), except for a few objects in the -35° to -40° band.
And most of the time I try to not view anything below 30° from the horizon, where the atmosphere is twice as thick as the zenith.
--the muck is too thick--water vapor, dust, light, air refraction, et.al. (seeing, transparency, and darkness are all poorer at very low altitudes.)
--I've seen the targets I'd seek from Australia, where they all had dramatically better appearances
--there are uncounted thousands of objects at higher declinations I have not seen in my scope. I'll start worrying about those close to my
southern horizon when I have exhausted the list of possibles that are farther north.
--My main targets are faint galaxies and planetaries, both of which are much better when high in the sky.
If I built myself an observatory, it would have a roll-off roof. I would position the walls so the scope could not see below 20° at least.
Edited by Starman1, 10 November 2019 - 05:19 PM.