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When is it considered to be too cold to observe

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#51 Tony Flanders

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 06:39 AM

The long cool-down times before observing, and my distaste for disassembling my SCT to replace the grease is a deterrent to using the larger scope in low temps.


Yeah, I wouldn't want to mess with an SCT when it's seriously cold and windy. I'll tell you, the colder it gets, the more attractive Dobs become. No fiddly little controls to mess with, no fancy bearings to go wrong, no need for batteries. Refractors are OK too, but definitely second best.
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#52 viewer

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 10:06 AM

Think I was tougher before, -20C was some kind of a limit. My solar interest during the summer must partly have to do with the warmth, by which we aren't spoiled at these latitudes. +20C is my thing, -20C not so much.


Edited by viewer, 26 January 2021 - 10:18 AM.


#53 csrlice12

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 10:39 AM

You don't realize how cold 50*f is till you take up astronomy.....you also don't realize that the best summer observing spots have the most mosquitos per square inch than anywhere else on the planet.


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#54 Gastrol

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 10:47 AM

I live in LA so anything under 50 is considered freezing.    I can observe for a couple of hours in the high 30’s if I must.


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#55 Keith Rivich

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 12:10 PM

When is it to cold to observe?

 

When my glass of Scotch freezes!


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#56 Stardust Dave

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 03:46 PM

Hard to put a temp number on how cold is too cold to observe. Really depends on how moist

.The temp where ice forms on the deck and I begin to slip is where I draw the line of too cold. Backyard observing for me makes for a longer Winter observing session than observing out a remote area/ dark site.   

 

Observing out with my big scope will be higher elevation and colder not worth it unless I can tolerate the cold for 3-4 hours Too cold is when observing becomes miserable / and or my tablet starts acting up. 



#57 Migwan

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 06:13 PM

The coldest I've been out with a telescope twice where it dropped below -10F.   Both nights had the best transparency and seeing I've ever experienced here or at such a relatively low elevation.  (342 m) 

 

Had my CPC1100 with a piggy backed refractor both times, along with an LFP battery pack that's not bothered by the cold.  Absolutely no problems experienced with the SCT and it takes me less than 10 minutes to set it up and align it.   Both nights were at a dark site and I did hop into the truck a few times to warm up.  

 

Not sure I would go to a dark site on such a cold night again.  Maybe for a really great and yet unseen target.   Otherwise, I'd be more likely to just make a short night of it at home.   

 

I guess -10F might keep me in at this point. 

 

jd



#58 Katharine

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 06:28 PM

I know that Bangkok heat well. That humidity is a killer. 
 

From an observing point of view, I think most people are more concerned with cold than heat. These threads come up all the time, but I can’t remember one asking when is it too hot to observe.

 It seems that way.  IMO, heat is easier to deal with-- getting ready for cold takes extra equipment (warm clothes), takes longer (I've said before that my "grab n go" is spoiled in winter by 10 minutes of bundling up in clothes), you can only put on so much before you can't move (and as has been noted before, face and hands can be an issue), and all the cold-weather gear can make it hard to carry and handle equipment.  "Too hot" can be handled with as little lightweight clothing as possible, cool towels, fans, etc.  Being too hot is uncomfortable, but being too cold is uncomfortable and a hassle*...

 

 

Well, it is snowing here now, but I've still been going out when the skies open for looking at the moon. Never had to deal with extreme cold. I keep cozy with my wool socks, wool base layers, wool gloves, then lined pants and comfy jacket, and a wool buff around my neck and face, and always piping hot coffee in my thermos. 

 

One of these days when I own a larger telescope I'm sure I'll overstay my night in the cold.

Yes, I can dress up pretty well.  Usually consists of 2-3 base-layer leggings, track pants or whatever will fit over top, a base-layer top with a fleece jacket, two pairs of socks + fleece boot liners, thin glove liners under thick ski gloves, a neckwarmer or scarf if needed, winter coat, fleece earwarmer or earmuffs under a Sherpa hat, and maybe snowpants if necessary (haven't needed them yet this year).  For the most part that keeps me warm enough, except sometimes my feet still get cold, face is problematic, and hands if the thick gloves need to come off and it's too cold.

 

When is it to cold to observe?

 

When my glass of Scotch freezes!

I like the way you think; I think this is my new metric...

 

 

 

*This is pretty much me gearing up to go out in the cold:

https://www.youtube....h?v=PKxsOlzuH0k


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#59 mrsjeff

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 06:58 PM

For me it's too cold when my nose and eyes start running.,usually between 8-14°f.,I am close to a warm room so breaks inside help to keep from freezing.,Cold windy nights I can observe from my recliner.,


My eyes and nose start running when it's a lot warmer than that (or if it's windy!). But yeah, that really makes things difficult...
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#60 oldtimer

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 07:55 PM

When you start slurring your words!



#61 DSO Viewer AZ

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 07:33 AM

It's too cold for me when I start doing this...

 

attachicon.gifLooking in the Wrong End.png

This is hysterical!! lol.gif

 

It was 25* this morning trying to work on Virgo and Leo galaxies, looking like the poor kid from the Christmas Story movie, hard to move. I’m a desert rat with thin blood in Phoenix. I lasted 40 min. Can’t even imagine how much Clothing I would need for anything colder. All of you who are out below 0*, I tilt my freezing hat to you.bow.gif


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#62 Rickycardo

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 09:20 AM

Its too cold when my tauntaun dies. Then I just crawl inside him and wait til morning.


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#63 csrlice12

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 09:26 AM

It's 4*f right now, thankfully I have no reason to be outside.  On the plus side it will get to 41* today, mid 50s tomorrow, and 60 on Friday before plunging to below freezing temps again.


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#64 Cotts

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:28 PM

My coldest experience was a lunar eclipse in the early 1990's.  It was crystal clear and about -30C...   The film in my camera broke from being too brittle.

 

I used to be able to tolerate a couple of hours around -10C but those days are long gone.

 

Now my limit, depending on wind etc. is about +5C.   My tolerance for cold is diminishing rapidly as I head for 70...

 

I suspect I will someday turn into my grandmother who wore fur coats in May and whose house was heated like an oven all year around while she constantly complained of the cold...

 

Ivanhoe Observatory closes around Nov 1 and re-opens around April....  I get my 'winter' observing done at the WSP, and sometimes Chiefland in Nov....

 

Dave


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#65 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:51 PM

Dave,

Sorry you couldn't get your winter observing this year.  Maybe next year?



#66 Cotts

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 03:01 PM

Dave,

Sorry you couldn't get your winter observing this year.  Maybe next year?

Yeah - withdrawal symptoms.......

 

Dave



#67 darkandstormynight

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 05:26 PM

There are battery-heated jackets, pants, gloves, socks, etc. available to cover you head to toe and cushions to sit on. I like the Ororo vest with a parka over it for really cold weather (https://www.ororowear.com). There are plenty of other brands. Condensation seems to be more limiting than the cold itself.



#68 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 05:59 PM

There are battery-heated jackets, pants, gloves, socks, etc. available to cover you head to toe and cushions to sit on. I like the Ororo vest with a parka over it for really cold weather (https://www.ororowear.com). There are plenty of other brands. Condensation seems to be more limiting than the cold itself.

I could get or wear the clothing it would take to stay out in the dome.  Condensation from breath is the problem after a couple of hours.  Now, if I could breathe in air inside the dome and exhale outside, that might solve the problem.......if I run the vent fan, which makes an air change every 3.5 minutes or so, then it might be intolerable with the breeze and noise. 

 

If I set another scope out in the open, then it gets covered by frost rather quickly on cold, clear nights.  It's hard to "win" in the winter.


Edited by John Fitzgerald, 27 January 2021 - 06:39 PM.

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#69 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 06:01 PM

Yeah - withdrawal symptoms.......

 

Dave

Hopefully, you can attend a couple of extra star parties to your south in 2022 to make up for it.



#70 Cotts

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 06:05 PM

Hopefully, you can attend a couple of extra star parties to your south in 2022 to make up for it.

My plans for 2021, which may or may not intersect with reality would include the Adirondack Retreat in July, Starfest in August, Okie Tex in September and Winter Star Party in Feb 2022...

 

I will not attend any of them if i am not vaccinated and I will still be prickly about social distancing and masks.....

 

Dave



#71 LDW47

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 06:48 PM

I knew a well known Canadian bushman, a famous canoe inventor / builder who never took his long johns off even in the sweltering heat of mid summer, only for brief dips in the icy cold river, lol ! Many from those long gone eras did the same but I don’t think many ever looked through either end of a telescope, lol !


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#72 Fender

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 01:57 PM

I was out the past two nights and the temperature was around 10 degrees F (minus 12 Celsius).  It was quite pleasant and peaceful and no wind or mosquitos in sight.  I was decked out with double gloves (actually gloves inside mittens), snow pants, stocking cap, hooded down jacket, and extra socks in my boots.  The first night I used my 120mm refractor on an Eq mount, and the second night I used my 8 inch dob.  In the cold weather the dob is the friendlier of the two with fewer moving parts.  Both the RA and DEC axes tend to stiffen up at these cold temperatures.  Last night I viewed about eight double stars in Aires, M33, and Mars.  The full moon precluded any dim dso objects.  The seeing was quite good for this time of year, as I was able to split a few 3 arc second doubles.  Usually in the winter this is nearly impossible for me.  After fifty minutes my toes were getting cold so hung it up for the night.  Gorgeous evening!     



#73 teashea

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 07:03 PM

.... When you do not look forward to going outside to observe



#74 pstarr

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 03:01 PM

It's considered too cold to observe when you live in the Northeast and you're in your 70's



#75 geovermont

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Posted 01 February 2021 - 07:12 PM

I was out two nights ago at -10 F. That's about where I draw the line, despite wearing my best outdoor gear. I may have been out at -15F before, but probably not any colder than that. But, it's up to you....




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