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?

Alex Pratt

Generally poor observing conditions in NW Leeds since last autumn. I don’t expect much improvement until the weather systems stabilise. Visual observing can take advantage of breaks in the cloud cover but occultation timings require good conditions at a specific time window, hence very few successes this year. Variable star photometry and meteor cameras are hindered by variable sky transparency, RMS waits for 20 field stars whilst UFO Capture detects meteors under almost any conditions; still poor coverage of the major meteor showers.

The local council has replaced all streetlights with flat panel luminaires, but many residents are installing very bright (in)security ‘photon torpedoes’ to floodlight the sky, their brickwork, gardens and their neighbours’ property. They should be banned.

I’ve come to the conclusion that when the BBC or Met Office say “clear” they mean driving conditions for motorists, not sky clarity for astronomers. For those who don’t have £zillion weather forecasting supercomputers we rely on low budget solutions such as in the attachment. I also use Sat24 GB every evening to check the movement of the cloud formations.