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Cloudless night, but not a clear night

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#1 ppg677

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 01:23 PM

The last couple nights in Wisconsin have been strange.  Infrared satellite confirms that there was not a cloud in the sky.  Yet the sky just isn't very clear so I didn't even attempt imaging.  

 

What is causing this?  Maybe it is wildfire smoke from the west.  Maybe it in a thin cloud layer that doesn't really show up on the satellite?

 

 



#2 jonnybravo0311

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 01:25 PM

https://fire.airnow.gov


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#3 klaussius

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 01:27 PM

Had quite a few nights like that.

 

Fog banks and thin clouds both can fool the infrared satellite and still occlude most of the sky.



#4 Mark Lovik

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 01:50 PM

Lately I have really focused on the Smoke level on Clear Sky Charts.  Depending on prevailing winds -- the haze (mostly from western fires) in the Midwest can completely block out most stars.   



#5 Oort Cloud

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 01:55 PM

Astrospheric also can show the smoke layer (even on free version)...nice blue skies earlier today in NJ, but it's all clouds now. It was showing low smoke today, and the forcast is currently for the clouds to roll out by dark (fingers crossed).
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#6 empiredown

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 03:23 PM

I use this daily...

 

https://www.cleardarksky.com/csk/

 

Good luck!

 

S



#7 alphatripleplus

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 03:46 PM

We had very poor transparency, but with clear skies here during last month here. It seems to better now.



#8 decep

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 04:31 PM

This was one of the unintended benefits of having an All Sky camera.  Even a short exposure will reveal thin cloud cover that is invisible to the eye or when aerosols cause light pollution to be worse than usual.



#9 unimatrix0

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 04:50 PM

I learned a way of noticing issues like this, saved me wasting my time.   It says clear and I do see stars, but there is a large building in the distance a few miles away. 

 Usually it's totally visible with the windows and all, but there are those nights, when I just look at it, and I can barely make out of the shape of the windows and the building itself is hardly visible.  I know it's clear, but not a good night to image, I'm gonna end up with blurry or barely any stars. 
Another way is, take a picture of the sky with your cell phone, also try to count the stars, stay outside for 3-4 minutes with no flood lights or anything , don't look at your phone or any screen. Try to count the stars. If you can count the stars to a certain number, you got a problem. You shouldn't be able to count the stars, the fainter ones are invisible. You got something in the atmosphere.   If you already set up and you got problems with polar alignment and have to mess around too much with gain and exposure with the guide camera and sharpcap still only counts a few, then there it is. Another sign. 


Edited by unimatrix0, 05 August 2021 - 04:51 PM.

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#10 dpick

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 11:56 PM

Here in southern Utah, skies were "clear," but Milky Way was barely noticeable and Andromeda Galaxy was invisible.  Photos have a reddish/brown tint.  Two nights pretty much wasted.



#11 Alex McConahay

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 01:09 AM

I just flew from Nashville to LAX. Looking down, the skies were hazy, and from the Mississippi to the Colorado, hazy and reddish brown.

Alex

#12 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 01:53 PM

{sigh} Yeah, our luck on the smoke has run out.  Not a cloud in the sky, but we lost Jupiter last night...  Air Quality is 157 right now.  Eeek.


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#13 Mike in Rancho

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 02:32 PM

{sigh} Yeah, our luck on the smoke has run out.  Not a cloud in the sky, but we lost Jupiter last night...  Air Quality is 157 right now.  Eeek.

I didn't realize what a quaint little town you have there, Greg. smile.gif  Looks nice.  And not in Sacto County, either.

 

If you can see anything right now, that is. shocked.gif

 

I generally check the NWS link of the True Color animation loop for CA and environs to see if any clouds (or smoke) is headed my way.  https://www.star.nes...=G17&sector=psw

 

Holy smokes, what a mess up there!  From the Bay Area to past Utah.  Idaho looks bad too, but you are really socked in.



#14 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 03:08 PM

Thanks, Mike.  We love it here.

 

The GEOS images give an interesting view, but what I find most useful is Astrospheric, which has integrated in the smoke data with the stuff from the weather folks.  We almost never see "transparency" in the "poor" zone unless it's because of smoke.  Holy, or otherwise.  The https://www.airnow.gov/ site is a really good one for one's local conditions, but it's reporting on data at ground level.  Last night it claimed things were pretty good, but when you can hardly see Jupiter, something bad is happening higher up, and Astrospheric was able to report on it.  No idea where they get the data from, but it's much appreciated.


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#15 dpick

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 11:43 PM

med_gallery_260499_16844_15727.jpg

 

Smoke is awful over southern Utah.  Here's a shot I took at 22:15 on 8/6/21.  You can barely see NGC 6723 (30sec @ 1600iso).  It's low on the horizon, but still it's awful tonight.



#16 Fitz8710

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 11:44 PM

Im north of Madison WI and smoke has been blocking our skies for over a week. We had about 2 days clear last week and that was about it.

Edited by Fitz8710, 06 August 2021 - 11:44 PM.


#17 lphilpot

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 09:43 AM

...and even if / when the smoke clears, the usual thick summer haze remains. Nasty.




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