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Thread: How cold is too cold to observe?

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    Default How cold is too cold to observe?



    Ok, so I'm really chomping at the bit to get my telescope out (been using 10 by 50 cheap binoculars, but they don't do Jupiter any justice) and it's going to be colder here than it has been. It's been in the 40's for quite some time but now I'm thinking it will be below freezing if I manage to get the telescope out. Any concerns or suggestion about cold weather observing? I have a Mak-cas closed tube so I know I'll need to let it cool down quite a bit.

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    Default Re: How cold is too cold to observe?

    I've gone out in 15F, just needed to keep the optics from frosting over and myself warm.
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    Default Re: How cold is too cold to observe?

    20' is about my limit. I've been out in colder temp's, but, my knees prefer it if I don't.
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    Default Re: How cold is too cold to observe?

    I draw the line around -10F, even if the skies are extremely transparent and stable.

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    Default Re: How cold is too cold to observe?

    Letting the equipment cool down and keeping yourself warm are the big issues. Good news is that cold and still conditions alllow for some spectacular viewing, but I find that I'm only good down to the 20's and then for only an hour or two. It seems that regardless of how bundled up I am, being exposed under the stars cools me down quickly.

    Portable observatories/modified tents supposedly reduce how cold you get but I don't have any personal experience with them. I've noticed another forum member, olddogg60, has one such observatory posted as his profile picture.

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    Default Re: How cold is too cold to observe?

    The line that I set as to how cold it is is 10 degrees F...

    If its 10 F I go out even if the temp drops below I'm fine
    If it is 9 F I stay in the house...

    I'm 69 and my circulation is not that great anymore .... so I cheat...

    I wear heated motorcycle clothing.. the scope is always within a degree or two of ambient as it is in my observatory so that is never a problem...I keep my laptop in a closed heated drawer in the observatory because the Screen just will not function in the cold very well...

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    Default Re: How cold is too cold to observe?

    Hello Lobster. When I was in my late 30's in 1985, I could take 15/20 degree (F) weather while photographing the Moon and Jupiter on film in Illinois. I remember my fingers hardly being able to move, and I would come inside for a cup of coffee, and my glasses would cloud over. Since then I have moved to Florida, and my blood must have thinned out. Now, in my 60's, when it gets below 38 degrees (F), I say to **** with it.
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    Default Re: How cold is too cold to observe?

    I've been out viewing a few times in the last week or so. It has gotten below freezing in my part of MN. My fingers and toes were what limited my viewing time. They started to go numb after about an hour. My telescope was fine. Just don't breathe on your eyepieces.

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    Default

    We were out when it was about 9 degrees F last year during the lunar eclipse. Even bundled up, that was too cold. My husband waited the last hour and a half in the car. I set my personal best in the speed of packing everything up when the sun came up.

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    Default Re: How cold is too cold to observe?

    I was just out at -2C, no wind

    -10C or 15F is about my limit with dew heaters, clothes and a hair dryer in case I need extra heat for my corrector plate (SCT).

    If it is the least bit windy my tolerance goes down exponentially, however that is figured out!

    Alan

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobster4221 View Post
    Ok, so I'm really chomping at the bit to get my telescope out (been using 10 by 50 cheap binoculars, but they don't do Jupiter any justice) and it's going to be colder here than it has been. It's been in the 40's for quite some time but now I'm thinking it will be below freezing if I manage to get the telescope out. Any concerns or suggestion about cold weather observing? I have a Mak-cas closed tube so I know I'll need to let it cool down quite a bit.

 

 
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