2021 – how was it for you?

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  • #575128
    Jeremy Shears
    Participant

    It has become something of a tradition to comment on the activity past observing year. So let’s kick this off (it’s cloud here tonight!)

    Looking back on 2021, my overall recollection is that the weather has been poor, but the stats actually show something different: I had a good first 4 months, but the last months of the year, autumn into winter, were indeed poor.

    I find that I observed on 112 nights, or 31% of all nights in the year. My best month was April (22 nights) and the worst was June (only 2).

    I submitted 6997 individual variable stars observations (plus quite a few time series, which are not included in this stat)

    I have been collecting these stats since 2005 and I find 2021 was pretty typical during with on average I observed on 110 nights (30.5%)

    [Note: I only record the nights that I actually observed and expressed as a percentage of all nights in the year (although some nights might have been clear, but I was away from home or otherwise indisposed). A successful “night” might only allow one CCD image to be recorded – or it might be clear all night.]

    I wish everyone a Happy New Year and clear skies in 2022!

     Jeremy

    #585063
    Dominic Ford
    Keymaster

    Happy New Year, everybody.

    My Pi Gazing meteor cameras monitor sky clarity in Cambridge by taking one-minute stacks (with a Watec 902H2 Ultimate) every four minutes and counting how many stars they can see. In good conditions, the images go down to mag ~6.

    The bar charts below show the number of days in each month when my automated system thought it was clear.

    Amber means there were at least 7 images with 800 stars visible (mirky conditions for 30 minutes). Green means there were at least 15 images with 1000 stars visible (good conditions for an hour). I invented these thresholds mostly at random.

    I’m sure these figures are somewhat dependent on when I last cleaned the cobwebs off the cameras.

    Interesting, the autumn doesn’t appear so bad here, though most of the clear skies have been at 4am.

    #585065
    David Boyd
    Participant

    2021 was statistically one of the poorest years for observing since I started recording this in 2005. I calculate my results on the basis of the number of nights I was able to record useful data relative to the number of nights I was at home and potentially able to observe, so it is a measure of the fraction of observable nights in the year. My average for the year was 35.5% based on 118 nights out of 332. The best months were April and September, as they usually are, and the worst were January, November and December, again as usual.

    Best wishes for clearer skies in 2022.

    David

    #585066
    Gary Poyner
    Participant

    Happy New Year!

    Observing statistics for 2021 (2020 in parentheses)

    Gary Poyner (Birmingham)

    Not a bad first half of the year, but from August the majority of the time was taken with dodging cloud and observing in cloud breaks. Only 11 totally clear nights in the whole year (clear from dusk to dawn), and these were all in the first half of 2021. Dismal!

    2021

    Clear nights (less than 50% cloud) 19 (44)
    Partially clear nights (50% or more cloud) 100 (95)
    Totally cloudy nights 246.
    Total observable nights 119 (139) with 82 (67) of these nights having Moonlight interference. I made observations on all 119 nights.

    Total hours at the telescope 227.7 (296.9) hrs
    Best month April with 16 nights – 12 partially clear and 4 clear (May. 24)
    Worst month December with 3 nights – 2 partially clear and one clear. (Feb. 6)

    Birmingham Met office gave incorrect information on cloud cover for 73 nights during 2021 (73)

    Total visual VS observations for 2021 is 8,201 (10,717) a decrease of 2516 on 2020. CCD single measures using remote telescopes COAST, SLOOH and the AAVSO SRO-50 are 3,527 (1,909), an increase of 1618 on 2020.

    Gary

    #585067
    Daryl Dobbs
    Participant

    The last night I logged any variable star observations was 27th November, rest have been clouded out, twice in December I got my equipment out only to have the clouds roll in just as I was about to start. Four nights at the beginning of December  was cancelled due to muscle problems in my arm due to Flu and Covid jabs. Rest of the year was roughly 1 in 3 nights usable or just about even if only 1 observation was made but the beginning of the year was clouded out. Haze through the summer caused problems.

    Overall observing conditions compared to 2020 seemed worse.

    #585073
    Paul Leyland
    Participant

    Not every year I get a ring-side view of a volcanic eruption.

    #585074
    Paul G. Abel
    Participant

    Absolutely the worst year I can remember for clear nights (and indeed useable clear nights).  I honestly cannot recall a year with so few useable nights.  A rough count gives me just 49 clear nights for the whole year.  I am hopeful that 2022 will be an improvement!

    #585075
    Denis Buczynski
    Participant

    Tarbatness observing statistics 2021 observations on nights when ccd comet astrometry and photometry was undertaken; Jan 19, Feb16,Mar12,Apr10,May4,Aug7,Sept10,Oct12,Nov9,Dec17. Total=116 nights This excludes any nights from mid May until mid August when observing is not possible at this lattitude 58d N due to all night twilight. Observations of other objects Novae, Supernovae, and other transients were made on nights when CCD comet imaging was taking place.Some deep sky ojects were imaged in colour. In the winter skies displays of Aurora were recorded. In the Summer skies displays of NLC were recorded. Meteor count on two cameras 12mm camera 2328, 3.8mmcamera 1844 Cameras are turned off from mid May to mid August due to all night twilight. All in all it was decentish observing year here at Tarbatness, I am not sure I could have done more.

    #585077
    John Cook
    Participant

    2021 was not a very good one here in the Midlands for solar observing, with just 174 days when a drawing was possible. December was a real disaster, with only one day free of cloud long enough to take a look – and then it was blank! I lost three days of radio recording due to equipment problems, so not too bad.

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