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Thread: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

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    Default What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?




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    Default Re: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

    ????
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    Default Re: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

    Can I see any stars?
    If so how many?

    https://www.weather.gov/satellite
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    Default Re: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

    I use the ClearDarkSky charts, which include a line for transparency. If I want spatial resolution, I click through the CDS chart to the underlying Envionment Canada transparency map: Clear Sky Chart: map of weather conditions for astronomical observing

    I also pay attention to transparency in the daytime. If the cliffs across the water (15km away) are hazy, transparency is fair to poor. If they are super-clear, transparency is good. I will also check other cliffs 30km and 60km away for clarity. The farther ones are almost never clear, but it they are, transparency is awesome, and I know that I will be firing up the observatory that night.
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    Default Re: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

    I look at the weather reports to know if I can expect a clear sky. I can use a clear sky for one purpose or another. If the transparency is poor, I can go for double stars and clusters. If the transparency is excellent, I'm digging in for some galaxy hunting. The planets and Moon are good no matter the transparency (good seeing helps a bunch though )

    Much like Kathy mentions, I watch the horizon or distant hills (we are rather lacking in cliffs here). A hazy appearance suggests not-so-hot transparency.

    My main key test is during the day. A sky possessed with a rich and deep (not dark, but deep, as in having depth) blue sky tells me that I am likely to have a very nice sky that evening. The presence of a nicely delineated Belt of Venus on the twilight horizon is a positive sign too.

    I also have a few "litmus test" objects that I turn toward to gauge nighttime transparency. These are galaxies such as M81/M82, the Leo Triplet, M31/M32/M110, NGC 404, and a few others. I know what these look like on an excellent night, so it is easy to get a good feel for the transparency.

    If I have a sky that is on the paler side of blue, white toward the horizon, or if the twilight Belt of Venus is subdued or blends into the higher sky, I will have transparency issues on that night.

    And on top of all that, the conditions can change on a dime, or from hour to hour. A good sky can get soupy on you and stay that way, and a lousy sky can clarify and turn out great! Moisture content of the atmosphere, dust, pollen, smoke, and other particulates are impactful.

    This site is great for water vapor in the atmosphere: https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/content/water-vapor-imagery

    For wild fire smoke: https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?act...moke_wildfires

    My main astro-weather app is called Astrospheric. Here is my present forecast: https://www.astrospheric.com/?Latitu...de=-94.2997504
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    Default Re: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

    Like Kathy I too use Clear Dark Sky ( https://www.cleardarksky.com/ )as well as another called one called Clear Outside ( Clear Outside v1.0 - International Weather Forecasts For Astronomers )

    Check them both out!

    Abb
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    Default Re: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

    I look across the western arm of Lake Superior to the Wisconsin shoreline about 30km to the south. If it's crisp and clear the lower atmosphere is transparent. Then, I look at the sky next to the sun to see how much scatter there is. If its not milky, it is also transparent up high. One does not always match the other. I've seen the high smoke from western or Canadian wildfires make the sky look milky/yellow, while the transparency down low was outstanding. A day later that same smoke could be at ground level making your eyes water.
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    Default Re: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

    A short but heavy shower can clean the air quite well as long as the humidity then stays low. Being near the East coast, an east wind is never good news for me.

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    Default Re: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

    I look at three different fraudcasts, Clear Outside , Clear Dark Sky and the local NWS.
    If all are in approximate agreement then I consult the weather rock, piece of sea weed and the crystal ball.
    If THEY all agree then I become excited and wait for sunset.
    Then I go to bed........

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    Default Re: What Do You Look For In Weather Reports To Determine Night Sky Transparency?

    i've almost given up on weather reports, i only check for rain and storms, for seeing i check out the stars, if they are flickering pretty bad between 30 deg to zenith then i stay indoors, if it's windy then it's bound for average/poor seeing , if the humidity is up that also effect it as well, the only good weather report is your own.. , not related to transparency as seeing is different, but you get the idea to manually check out the skys and make your own assumption
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