Bad observing conditions!


Roland Christen
 

Howdy fellow Astronuts,

The satellite image below shows the weather pattern here at my humble observatory in N. Illinois as it has existed now for several weeks. ;^((.

Seems like an endless stream of clouds coming off the Pacific, making landfall in Seattle, then heading overnight to my Prairie observatory next to our AP factory building (red X). Rats! looks like it will continue this way for the next couple of weeks. I can see where I should be located, somewhere in the mountains just east of San Diego. And to think i gave up a possible job there back in the '70s for a job in Northern Illinois. Anyone living there and further east in Arizona, New Mexico - I am super jealous. (plus it's really cold here).

Rats and pattouie!!

Rolando


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Hi Rolando,
   Same here in Naperville/Aurora IL, (about 80 miles south of you). Very frustrating ...

cytan

On Saturday, December 4, 2021, 02:16:19 PM CST, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:


Howdy fellow Astronuts,

The satellite image below shows the weather pattern here at my humble observatory in N. Illinois as it has existed now for several weeks. ;^((.

Seems like an endless stream of clouds coming off the Pacific, making landfall in Seattle, then heading overnight to my Prairie observatory next to our AP factory building (red X). Rats! looks like it will continue this way for the next couple of weeks. I can see where I should be located, somewhere in the mountains just east of San Diego. And to think i gave up a possible job there back in the '70s for a job in Northern Illinois. Anyone living there and further east in Arizona, New Mexico - I am super jealous. (plus it's really cold here).

Rats and pattouie!!

Rolando


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Hey, there's always Hawaii.

 

I mean other than a little detail like blizzard conditions and possible 100mph wind.

 

Sounds like a perfect place to test a mount.  😊

 


Bill Long
 

Can confirm. Conditions in the Seattle area are terrible. 🥺


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
Sent: Saturday, December 4, 2021 12:15 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>; main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] Bad observing conditions!
 
Howdy fellow Astronuts,

The satellite image below shows the weather pattern here at my humble observatory in N. Illinois as it has existed now for several weeks. ;^((.

Seems like an endless stream of clouds coming off the Pacific, making landfall in Seattle, then heading overnight to my Prairie observatory next to our AP factory building (red X). Rats! looks like it will continue this way for the next couple of weeks. I can see where I should be located, somewhere in the mountains just east of San Diego. And to think i gave up a possible job there back in the '70s for a job in Northern Illinois. Anyone living there and further east in Arizona, New Mexico - I am super jealous. (plus it's really cold here).

Rats and pattouie!!

Rolando


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Dean Jacobsen
 
Edited

It is not all clear skies in the mountains and deserts of east San Diego County but I am glad I live here and not in Illinois.  :-)  I spent a couple of winters in Minneapolis. 

I am heading out to the desert tonight to do some camping and imaging.  The forecast where I am going at about 2000 feet elevation is for a low of 53 degrees with an unusually high relative humidity of about 37%.

We would love to have Astro-Physics relocate here in San Diego.  :-)
--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


Roland Christen
 

45%??? That's bone dry around here.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Dec 4, 2021 2:23 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Bad observing conditions!

It is not all clear skies in the mountains and deserts of east San Diego County but I am glad I live here and not in Illinois.  :-)  I spent a couple of winters in Minneapolis. 

I am heading out to the desert tonight to do some camping and imaging.  The forecast where I am going at about 2000 feet elevation is for a low of 53 degrees with an unusually high relative humidity of about 45%.

We would love to have Astro-Physics relocate here in San Diego.  :-)
--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


michael mccann
 

Well see that batch of clouds in very southern Arizona and New Mexico, that’s where I am, so here where there’s a lot of observatory’s, we’re in the clouds too.


Worsel
 

Be careful what you wish for!

It's so dry here that Denver has not seen snow since Feb 2021. 
Many ski areas may not open until ???
Lake Mead and Lake Powell provide power for over 7 million people in CA, NV, and AZ.  Both could lose that capability in the next 2-3 years, if we continue with drought.
The West had wildfires in late November. 


Bryan


Jerry Floyd
 

Not to rub it in or anything, but since you mentioned that you wished you were located in the mountains east of San Diego, I thought I'd assure you that you have good reason to do so:  I am at this very moment imaging the Flaming Star Nebula from the Orange County Astronomers' site in the hills a few miles northeast of San Diego, where the skies are clear and the stars are bright.  I am imaging with my 1996 vintage Celestron C11 mounted on my trusty 2004 AP 1200GTO, a wonderful mount which I purchased second-hand from one of my fellow OCA members (who replaced it with a new 1600GTO with absolute encoders).  The 1200GTO has served me well for 10 years or so with little maintenance.  A substantial percentage of the imagers here own AP mounts and feel the same about theirs.  We have had quite a few good nights here so far this fall.

Cheerio
Jerry L. Floyd


Roland Christen
 

Yes, go ahead and make me green with envy! Right now we have sleet covering our area.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Jerry Floyd <jlfloyd720@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Dec 4, 2021 10:56 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Bad observing conditions!

Not to rub it in or anything, but since you mentioned that you wished you were located in the mountains east of San Diego, I thought I'd assure you that you have good reason to do so:  I am at this very moment imaging the Flaming Star Nebula from the Orange County Astronomers' site in the hills a few miles northeast of San Diego, where the skies are clear and the stars are bright.  I am imaging with my 1996 vintage Celestron C11 mounted on my trusty 2004 AP 1200GTO, a wonderful mount which I purchased second-hand from one of my fellow OCA members (who replaced it with a new 1600GTO with absolute encoders).  The 1200GTO has served me well for 10 years or so with little maintenance.  A substantial percentage of the imagers here own AP mounts and feel the same about theirs.  We have had quite a few good nights here so far this fall.

Cheerio
Jerry L. Floyd

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


M Hambrick
 

I feel your pain, Roland.

We are not much better off in Southeast Texas. Normally, fall is one of the best times to observe here, but we just haven't been getting those cool fronts coming through this year. The few clear nights that we have had ended up getting really foggy after it cooled down. Last week we had some of the steadiest skies I have seen in a long while. Right after dusk I was getting FWHM values 1.3 to 1.5 on my focusing images. Then, about an hour later it cooled down enough that the fog started forming.

The bright side is that I am getting really good at setting up and taking down my gear. 

Mike


Dean Jacobsen
 

On Sun, Dec 5, 2021 at 08:23 AM, Roland Christen wrote:
Yes, go ahead and make me green with envy! Right now we have sleet covering our area.
That forecast for last night (53 degrees and 37% RH) was way off.  It actually got down to 34 degrees and 45% plus RH.

It was worth it for the dark sky and I ended up with this:

https://www.astrobin.com/1qyb67/
 
Set up the Mach2.  Ran an abbreviated all sky model bracketing M45.  Took 111 three min unguided exposures.  Used all 111.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love the Mach2 that the fine folks at AP made for me?🙂
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
Astrobin Image Gallery - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/


Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...>
 
Edited

Jerry, we moved to Texas in 2014 but in the late '80s to the mid '90s, we belong to the OCA.  My pad was on Ten Pad Alley and I believe the white storage cabinet is still in place on the western edge.  Lots of fond memories were made there.  When we left the club the site was beginning to be affected by population growth which drastically affected film AP.  How is it now?


Jerry Floyd
 

Hi Eric - Yes, I believe the white storage cabinet is still there.  I haven't tried to do any film astrophotography in almost 20 years, but we are all going full bore here with digital and getting some very nice results.  The main difference is that the light domes from Temecula and other places to the west have become more obtrusive, but the eastern sky is still relatively unaffected.  In the late 90s there was a spate of pad building in the northwest part of the site, now known as Mars Hill.  I participated in that and still have a pad on Mars Hill.  Then in the 2000s there was a stretch where many new observatories were built, until all the available space for observatories was used up.  The last totally new one to be built was mine, which was completed in 2013.  However, construction has not ceased completely since some members have been converting their pads into observatories and others have been renovating existing old and small or decrepit observatories.  Also, the contractor who built most of the pads and new observatories generously donated a couple of old mobile homes and put them together to create a larger structure, now known as Anza House, with couches, a kitchen, toilet facilities and bunk beds, greatly increasing the convenience and comfort level of the site.

Just for fun, I'm attaching a couple of my latest astro-images, shot in early September.  I'm pretty far down the scale on the skill level, but these should give you an idea of what can be done at a reasonably dark site by an imager of average ability and decent equipment.   The first image is an LRGB of the Cocoon Nebula, IC 5146, in Cygnus; the second features Sharpless 171, sometimes known as the Teddy Bear Nebula, in Cepheus; it is an LRGB enhanced with H-alpha.  I shot both images with my William Optics FLT-132 refractor mounted on my A-P 1200GTO.  Guiding is done with a Borg 50mm scope and a Starlight Express Ultrastar camera, using PHD2.  I use Sequence Generator Pro for image capture, CCDStack2 for calibration and stacking, and Photoshop and PixInsight for further development.  

I hope this message isn't considered off-topic, but I think it at least underlines the value of a high-quality mount such as the 1200GTO, which, although now almost 18 years old, still performs reliably, slews with great accuracy, and is easy to operate by comparison with other mounts I've owned.


Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...>
 

Thanks for the reply, Jerry.  I'd have to agree that A-P mounts are simply the best in just "getting out of the way".  Never a problem.  They just work and work and work.

Fortunately I live in a Bortle 4 zone, though unfortunately the future looks "brighter".  We're all seeing the results of encroachment and are learning new tricks to cope.

Have a great week ahead, and thanks again.