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?

Peter Anderson

I must apologise that I gave a ‘smarty response’ but I really like ‘In praise of dogs’ and have it posted on my study wall with the item ‘When a dog gets old…’ underlined in red. My wife of 57 years is not amused….. Life is for living dangerously!

My own weather woes this year are very similar with considerable cloud and often light rain. As a southern hemisphere lunar occultation observer with the approaching lunar standstill I have the additional problem in recent months, when the crescent to first quarter waxing Moon is too far north among the trees to access from my observatory and so last month I used my 63 year old 24cm reflector – a simple instrument on a wheeled base. (see image from its 1968 update) This period from crescent to first quarter is generally very productive but though I have cleared a swathe, trees can occasionally be frustrating when the Moon is at extreme (particularly north) declinations. See images.

Thought I live in the hills within 10 radial kilometres of the centre of a city (Brisbane) with a 2 million metropolitan area population, my night time zenithal sky has only deteriorated from around mv 5.5 to 5.6 to 5.2 to 5.3 in the fifty years we have lived here. I made the decision when we bought and built that I needed quick access to the city, principally for work, but for other amenities as well, so compromised on the dark sky since my main interest was solar system objects. Deep sky enthusiasts have either settled or have sites 100 kilometres or considerably more from the city/Gold Coast areas.

My main complaint at the moment is about the continuing wet weather and the southern face of the observatory end posts and roof (not in sunlight at this time of year) are exhibiting a yellow tinge that I will clean off when the weather clears.

Let us all hope that clear skies soon return.