Reply To: Is ANYONE getting clear nights any more?

Forums General Discussion Is ANYONE getting clear nights any more? Reply To: Is ANYONE getting clear nights any more?

Gary Poyner


I guess as a purely visual observer, I get to use more nights than you do as an imager – but this year has certainly been a disappointment so far.

My weather records for 2024 show that I’ve observed with my 51cm on 28 nights this year (including last night-this morning), with only three of those nights being dusk-dawn. The rest have been clearings and holes. This time last year (May 5) the number was 39 with 11 dusk-dawn nights.

If the weather eroded my enthusiasm for astronomy, then I would have given up a long time ago. It’s hard being an amateur astronomer in this country, and it always has been. So no change there! For me the biggest threat to my enthusiasm is the brightness of the backgound sky, which has deteriorated greatly over the past few years. OK, I live in north Birmingham, and the skies have never been dark, but the introduction of LED lighting has pretty much killed off my fainter then mag 16 detections, whilst the the majority of the time sees me struggling to get to 15.5. As an observer of many faint CV’s, this is the demoralising aspect for me. I won’t give up though. Over the past few years I’ve slowly been altering my observing programme to compensate for the degrading sky quality.

If it comes to a choice between cloudy weather and sky quality, I’ll take the former every time!

I hope your skies start to improve.