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Hope for warmer weather before Jupiter and Orion leave us

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#1 grif 678

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Posted 14 February 2024 - 06:33 PM

Here in NC, it has not been the coldest of winters, but at 74 years old, it seems like 50 degrees feels like 30 degrees when I was a lot younger. The days are OK, but as soon as the sun goes down, the temp drops very fast. I know that 40 degrees will seem like excellent viewing to a lot of you, but when you get old, and your skin thins out, and your blood thins out, it is hard to stay out viewing. I remember when a lot younger, I would get up in the middle of the night to see some event, when it was in the 20's, and it did not bother me, but now is different. As Orion and Jupiter approach the western horizon earlier every night, I just hope that we will have some spring like temps before they are out of sight. Then there will be several weeks that thick NC pine pollen will just about put a stop to viewing. But really, the sky is kind of bare then for casual observers like me, so I will not get out in that stuff anyway.


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#2 frankreed45

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Posted 14 February 2024 - 07:02 PM

I know exactly what you are talking about. I'm 78 y/o with a bad back and dizziness/balance issues. Sounds like North Carolina weather is a lot like Kentucky weather. I remember the good old days when I had an 18 inch Obsession and could tolerate the cold a lot better. I saw a lot of things I will never see again. It has been a great ride for me since I was a young boy(12 y/o) back in 1957. 


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#3 CHASLX200

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Posted 14 February 2024 - 08:00 PM

Jup is gonna be hist soon.  I will look at it with super high pow wow in the summer in the AM when i got my super steady seeing. I have given up on it as it is too cold bad bad seeing.



#4 jcj380

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 06:17 AM

We’ve been lucky or maybe just benefiting from El Niño . This winter has been mild compared to usual. I might even make it to a dark site before Orion’s gone. That would be a first.

#5 Astroman007

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 10:46 AM

I find this winter one of the mildest yet. We only had a couple nights that reached -30*C, and few that even reached -20*C. You can bet I've been taking advantage every night it shows promise of clearing. :)


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#6 star69

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 12:10 PM

I sincerely hope you'll get a night or two. I treasure the nights when Orion is up. 

-Kevin


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#7 tturtle

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Posted 18 February 2024 - 02:07 AM

I was out a couple of nights ago and even though I have a fair number of trees I was able to set up and swing back and forth between a half moon, Jupiter, and Orion and it was very enjoyable. It was a very chilly night - nothing like what you have in the Carolinas but I sympathize. My strategy for dealing with uncomfortable weather is to keep the rig simple, in this case 1 eyepiece, a zoom, and a simple scope - an 80mm all manual alt az mounted refractor so I minimize the time spend fiddling with equipment.


Edited by tturtle, 18 February 2024 - 02:20 AM.

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#8 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 18 February 2024 - 04:34 PM

They say sitting makes it feel about 20 degrees colder than being active, so if I plan to observe and it’s say 45, I usually throw on heavy boots and hiking socks, jeans, long underwear, a long sleeved tee, vest and jacket or parka plus glove liners and a beanie. I also do briefer sessions with just binoculars as an alternative.


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#9 WillR

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 01:58 PM

Here in NC, it has not been the coldest of winters, but at 74 years old, it seems like 50 degrees feels like 30 degrees when I was a lot younger. The days are OK, but as soon as the sun goes down, the temp drops very fast. I know that 40 degrees will seem like excellent viewing to a lot of you, but when you get old, and your skin thins out, and your blood thins out, it is hard to stay out viewing. I remember when a lot younger, I would get up in the middle of the night to see some event, when it was in the 20's, and it did not bother me, but now is different. As Orion and Jupiter approach the western horizon earlier every night, I just hope that we will have some spring like temps before they are out of sight. Then there will be several weeks that thick NC pine pollen will just about put a stop to viewing. But really, the sky is kind of bare then for casual observers like me, so I will not get out in that stuff anyway.

I think a lot of it is being adapted to the cold and having the right clothes. And a warm room near where you are set up.

 

I’m 73 and go out when it’s in the 20s routinely, occasionally the teens or even single digits. You are right, 40s sounds pretty good.

 

I do feel the cold more than I used to. But this year I added a heated vest and merino wool underwear, hat, and socks. Lots of layers.  Another layer every year. lol.gif


Edited by WillR, 19 February 2024 - 01:59 PM.

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#10 desertstars

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 07:21 PM

I'll settle for a clear sky following the next Full Moon. Will wear multiple layers and employ hand warmers, as needed.


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#11 rcooley

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 07:29 PM

I always go out in March for Orion. Southern sky, right at the end of my driveway. Pleiades always a bonus. I can stand 50 degrees, but not going out if it’s colder. Don’t judge me you sub freezing freaks.


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#12 Dpasqa

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 10:30 AM

I’m in the same boat, 74 and feeling it. I have downsized to a Vespera Passenger which with a tall Gitzo tripod it is still light enough to carry in one hand. I also have a BT100-SD which is twelve pounds. I take two trips with that one bit anything heavier is out of the question. Then comes the chill of the night, I can no longer take the damp cold nights when the humidity is high. I used to sit out til the focus knobs became too thick to rotate. That was like 10 to 15°, can’t do that no more. It ain’t fun getting old, next the only thing I’ll be able to view with will be a small 3lb 10x50 binocular and that’s if I’m lucky lol. 


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#13 sevenofnine

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 02:08 PM

At 74, the cold is mean to me too. Besides a warm sweater and parka, I've added flannel lined jeans and a rechargeable pocket hand warmer this year coldday.gif 


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#14 BobSoltys

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 10:17 AM

I'll settle for a clear sky following the next Full Moon. Will wear multiple layers and employ hand warmers, as needed.

Thanks for your observation.

 

Just ordered paper copies of the books listed in your signature


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#15 Mike Q

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 04:21 PM

I am 57 and thanks to blood thinners i cant do much below 25 degrees now.  I will say winter was mostly mild here in Ohio.  I am hoping for one good night with Orion myself before he goes away.  


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#16 pugliano

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for your observation.

 

Just ordered paper copies of the books listed in your signature

You're going to love them!


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#17 alg460

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Posted 09 March 2024 - 07:03 PM

At 65, I can go out in 20 degrees with just a tee shirt on. Does not bother me. But no matter how I dress, my hands and feet get painfully numb in 3 minutes. **** arteries must be gettin blocked.



#18 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 March 2024 - 10:39 PM

I don't particularly like cold weather, but I've conducted some long observing sessions when the temperatures were close to or below zero degrees Fahrenheit.  I dress appropriately and am not fazed by the cold.



#19 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 09 March 2024 - 10:44 PM

This was the fifth warmest meteorological winter in my area.

 

https://www.noaa.gov...inter-on-record

 

https://apnews.com/a...30e0fe90ac36ac8



#20 alg460

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Posted 10 March 2024 - 07:05 PM

For 40+ years I have been questioning why I endure the pains of stargazing. To ad insult to injury, the wife, all family, all friends and everyone I know, think stargazing is brainless, stupid, childish waste of time. A grown man playing with a toy.


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#21 Chris K

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Posted 10 March 2024 - 07:13 PM

I'm running out of chances for the Orion area due to clouds, rain, & wind seemingly having the worst timing this year.

I have about 5 objects in the are left to complete an observing program and I'm really hoping to get them observed before they're gone.



#22 Jsg

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Posted 10 March 2024 - 10:52 PM

For 40+ years I have been questioning why I endure the pains of stargazing. To ad insult to injury, the wife, all family, all friends and everyone I know, think stargazing is brainless, stupid, childish waste of time. A grown man playing with a toy.


Amazing to me how people living on Carl Sagan's "little blue dot" can have no appreciation, let alone fascination, for the vastness and amazing diversity of what is beyond our petty mundane concerns. They could at least show a little respect for something far beyond themselves.

But no. They treat you with derision. You're just some crazy old man with a gadget.

But some child or other person will share your fascination, not because of you, but because the subject beckons. You, then, are the mentor who shows the way, to foster another person's spark of fascination with that which is outside the self.

It's a calling of a sort, that requires patience with those that just don't get it.

Keep it up. The universe knows this planet is not a total lost cause.
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#23 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 12 March 2024 - 08:51 PM

For 40+ years I have been questioning why I endure the pains of stargazing. To ad insult to injury, the wife, all family, all friends and everyone I know, think stargazing is brainless, stupid, childish waste of time. A grown man playing with a toy.

Newton

Sagan

Kepler

Hubble 

Copernicus

Hawking

et. al.

 

Yep. All brainless, stupid, childish, grown men playing with a toy.

 

Love to have my name added to the list of brainless, stupid, childish, grown men playing with a toy.


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#24 dark_matter

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Posted 14 March 2024 - 10:15 PM

I just bought my scope and was able to catch both on a warm night, the only night I have been able to get out. I hate to see them go.

 

It's about time to start mowing.



#25 Alexandrite

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Posted 15 March 2024 - 03:41 AM

You can have our warm Australian weather - except you don't want it! We've just dipped below 20C at nighttime for the first time in over 70 days. It's been hot and humid and absolutely awful. Terrible for astronomy seeing.

I really, really, REALLY want to be able to get out there and see the Pleiades, Orion, Jupiter etc before they all go, but clouds have been getting in the way...




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