Observing stats for 2019

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    Gary Poyner

    Here are my observing details for 2019. Usually it’s Jeremy Shears who leads this topic off at the start of the new year, but I’ve beat him to it this year!  I look forward to seeing details from other observers.  Certainly for me in Brum, it’s been a pretty grim year for observing.


    Observing statistics for 2019

    Gary Poyner (Birmingham)

    2018 in ()

    Clear nights (less than 50% cloud) 29 (44)
    Partially clear nights (50% or more cloud) 61 (69)

    Total observable nights 90 (113) with 39 of these nights having Moonlight interference. I made VS observations on 85 of these nights.

    Total hours at the telescope 189.8 hrs (237.3)
    Best month August with 12 nights (9 partially clear and 3 clear). (May 18)
    Worst month November with 4 nights (3 partially clear and one clear) (March 4)

    Birmingham Met office gave incorrect information on cloud cover for 72 nights (19%) during 2019

    Total VS observations for 2019 is 6,820, down by 2,193 on 2018. CCD measures using remote telescopes COAST and the AAVSO SRO-50 were up slightly on 2018 – 1,903 for 2019 against 1,767 for the previous year.

    Nick James

    This is an update of the plot I posted last year. It is the count of meteors from my two cameras since this is the only objective measurement of sky conditions that I have. The sporadic count is probably the one to use since it is not dependent on conditions at the times of shower maxima. This shows a slight deterioration on 2018 and my lowest detection rate so far. Note that  2015 was only a partial year (from June) but most meteor activity is in the last half of the year so it is not easy to scale.

    David Boyd

    Although subjectively it seems to have been a poor year, probably influenced by the recent persistent clouds, the evidence shows otherwise. I am in South Oxfordshire in the UK.

    I always calculate my statistics as the proportion of the nights when I was potentially able to observe (ie not away from home or otherwise engaged) that I did actually record useful observations, either photometry and/or spectroscopy. It is a reasonable assumption that if I had been available every night of the year, this is the proportion of nights when I could have observed.

    Over the previous 14 years my annual average has been 42.1% of nights when I was able to observe. The std dev on this is 2.9% and the trend is absolutely flat – conditions have been very consistent over this period.

    In 2019 the proportion of observable nights was 41.2%. Over the year there has been considerable variation. In Jan, Feb and Nov the monthly figures were all below 27%. In Jul, Aug and Sep they were >57%. However this variation is no worse that in previous years.

    Best wishes for (more) clear skies,


    Denis Buczynski

    Some of my observing statistics for 2019 at Tarbatness Highland Scotland are as follows:
    Number of nights astrometric images were taken and measured 65 ( over 600 individual comet positions submitted to MPC)
    Monthly nights when comet imaging was undertaken, ( nights of full or near full moon condtions did not allow comet imaging)
    Jan 9, Feb7, Mar 4, Apr 7, May 2, August 6, Sept 9, Oct 8, Nov 6 Dec 8.

    Number of meteors recorded on two cameras were 3937 ( there are duplicates in these as the fields overlap)

    Number of nights on which meteors were recorded 214 ( this is a rough measure of when some clear sky allowed meteors to be recorded. On some nights are only there are only short periods of clear but other nights have long clear periods. The cameras are not operating in the months from mid May- mid August due to all night twilight at this lattitude 58d N.

    Monthly nights on meteor cameras; Jan 24, Feb 26, March 22, April 15, May 10, August 20, Sept 24, Oct 25, Nov 20, Dec 28

    Hours at the telescope, in the observing room at the computer. imaging for aurora and noctilicent clouds were not recorded.

    Denis Buczynski

    Dr Paul Leyland

    Not been very good here in LP either. To be fair I am only here half the year and I have had health and equipment issues which have curtailed my observing time, but even so …

    I blame that Thunberg woman for drawing attention to global warming with its consequent increased cloud-cover, which itself arises from a larger capacity for the atmosphere to hold on to evaporated sea-water.


    Added in edit: the phrase “and equipment”

    Rob Januszewski

    I record partially clear nights based on whether some observing is possible, so it could be the sky is partially clear during the night or the sky is completely clear for a period then overcast. 

    2019 was definitely down on my average of 155 recorded over the last 16 years.

    Clear and partly clear nights for 2019 – 142

    Away on holiday for 10 nights

    Worst month November 6 nights

    Best May and July 15 nights

    I made observations on 78 nights which is 59% of observable nights.

    Rob Januszewski

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