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Old 27-12-2019, 12:26 PM
glend (Glen)
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Sky Seeing Recovery Prospects - How long will it take?

The current NSW east coast smoke shroud seems to be destroying any useful astronomy pursuits for some time to come. Just how long do you think it will take for the upper atmo to clear the haze? There are some attractive discounts on offer from our biggest retailers, no doubt their business has been stung by the crisis, but I can't bring myself to invest in new EAA equipment if there is little prospect of being able to use it. I checked my observatory mount a few days ago, and despite being closed up tight, with duct tape over the roof opening panels and track, and door jam, and a shroud over the mount itself; there was a fine coating of ash over the mount.
With so-called experts at the Bureau talking about no serious clearing rain till May, I am dismayed (pun intended), about the future of this hobby in this part of the State.
What are your thoughts about our prospect?
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Old 27-12-2019, 12:56 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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Once the summer's over I'll be out again. Until then I keep cool indoors. The smoke will clear out as soon as the fires are out. Just got to be patient.
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Old 03-01-2020, 06:23 PM
Sayfog (Alistair)
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Dare I say it, Sydney seems like it might be alright tonight....
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:05 AM
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Well a modest improvement ... crossing the coat hanger this morning I could just see the Anzac bridge and buildings at the top of five dock.

But it’s still overcast and very humid.
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:50 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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The wet season has started here. It may well be late April before I am able to do any useful obervering.

Oh well, I hope the smoke clears soon for U southern folks.
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Old 09-01-2020, 08:26 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Originally Posted by Tropo-Bob View Post
The wet season has started here. It may well be late April before I am able to do any useful obervering.

Oh well, I hope the smoke clears soon for U southern folks.
Aaaw, c'mon Bob... need some optimism...

I'm climbing walls at my place because I am not permitted to lift anything over 2kg for another month & on the occasional clear night I'm confined to gazing gently upwards & fantasising about when my surgeon green lights me to lift stuff again...

I have several scopes I'm itching to get out including a recent Mak Cat acquistion... I'm seriously hoping I get that chance before April...
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Old 09-01-2020, 08:32 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Aaaw, c'mon Bob... need some optimism...

I'm climbing walls at my place because I am not permitted to lift anything over 2kg for another month & on the occasional clear night I'm confined to gazing gently upwards & fantasising about when my surgeon green lights me to lift stuff again...

I have several scopes I'm itching to get out including a recent Mak Cat acquistion... I'm seriously hoping I get that chance before April...
2kgs - Maybe just use binoculars!
Wishing U all the best for your recovery.
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Old 09-01-2020, 08:37 AM
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2kgs - Maybe just use binoculars!
Wishing U all the best for your recovery.
Thanks mate, all is going well... it's quite remarkable the difference it's made albeit, restrictions whilst recovering are somewhat claustrophobic & very inconvenient..

Sadly, can't really crane my neck up & keep it there (not allowed too) so, whilst Bino's would be good & definitely within weight limit... other restrictions kick in to even spoil that option..

I bought a mirror with the idea that I could sit & look down at it to see the skies.. I still haven't unwrapped it...
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:29 PM
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I only tried one night more in an effort of setting simple things up, including major problems with the pier..it wouldn't stabilise and I have yet to work out why. And the camera would not work the night before...so I was happy to have things jury rigged but working..I took a few of the core in ha but at short exposure..the idea was to go faint in an effort to at least get sharp trap stars and they came out fine..although I haven't stacked them or brought them into my latest Orion image...but the seeing was surprisingly good both nights.
Alex
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Old 13-01-2020, 02:46 PM
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Heck ... tie me kangaroo down sport ! - there's blue sky to the east off the harbour bridge... first time in months !

The west isn’t looking good so still no real chance...
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Old 13-01-2020, 05:58 PM
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NASA claim that the smoke will circumnavigate the globe and arrive back in Australia in a few days time. A lot thinner of course because it has mixed with clear air.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-...-says/11863298
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Old 14-01-2020, 04:13 PM
glend (Glen)
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Finally, blue skies all day, or the nearest it's going to get I think. Unbuttoned the observatory , and set up the scope for a brief visual "look see" tonight.
It seems the smoke is lurking down in Melbourne area now.
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Old 14-01-2020, 05:30 PM
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Closer to you than you think. It returned to blanket Sydney last night and stayed that way all day.
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Old 14-01-2020, 09:32 PM
glend (Glen)
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Well it was not bad, not as bad as I expected. I stuck to eastern targets out over the ocean (M41, M42, Beta Mon, and a few others). The clear eastern targets exhibited usual star colour, I was expecting a bit of orange filter effect. Alnitak did display some haze effect. Seeing was ok to the east, the sky was not swimming around, very steady. I did not take a SQM reading as I could tell it was no where near the usual and the Moon was coming up.
So packing the gear up again. I might try again after we get past this rain event supposedly headed our way.
With the report I watched today on the NASA tracking of the bushfire smoke, which has now circled the world, forming a stratosphere ring, which is coming back over Australia; i might be waiting a lot longer.
And I do appreciate that local conditions have alot to do with what I saw, and many others will be substantially worse, or hopefully better. There is no consistency in the environment at the moment. As Wavy pointed out, just 100kms can give very different outcomes. I am hoping the worse is over for the areas North of Sydney, it seems like ages ago when the fires first took hold in northern NSW. But clearing skies is not necessarily a result.

Last edited by glend; 15-01-2020 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 15-01-2020, 07:01 PM
Wavytone
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Noticed something interesting in the garden.

For many years I have had several show-grade Sydney rock orchids in the garden (ie dendrobiums). For the past few drought years they have been a bit recalcitrant - showing little interest in growth and poor flowering.

But this week I notice they’re sprouting bulbs like they're on steroids - new spikes coming out all over the place. Seems they know serious rain is coming and it’s going to be a wetter autumn - spring should see a good show from them. I've seen this behaviour from them once before long ago, also at the onset of a humid, cloudy season

So expect a cloudy autumn and winter, folks...
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Last edited by Wavytone; 15-01-2020 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 16-01-2020, 08:31 PM
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So expect a cloudy autumn and winter, folks...
How very annoying a prospect for the year.
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Old 17-01-2020, 09:06 AM
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Here's to Nick's orchid prediction - Australia definitely needs the rains.

Canberra had a lovely, albeit brief, downpouring yesterday. Many more like it for NSW and Vic would be fantastic to help nature recover.
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Old 17-01-2020, 10:11 AM
glend (Glen)
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Here's to Nick's orchid prediction - Australia definitely needs the rains.

Canberra had a lovely, albeit brief, downpouring yesterday. Many more like it for NSW and Vic would be fantastic to help nature recover.
Perhaps there might be an "IIS rain linkage Index" in play following Peter's ordering of the STX16200. And of course the arrival of Marco's Officina Stellare Rifast 500. If we get enough folks buying high end equipment we could fill up all the dams.

Last edited by glend; 17-01-2020 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 17-01-2020, 05:09 PM
Wavytone
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Right. So did someone buy the 20 maksutov which APM advertised recently ?
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Old 20-01-2020, 10:58 PM
Wavytone
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Well, despite the afternoon thunderstorms and the incredible humidity, the sky over Sydney cleared this evening, and a passable first observing evening for 2020 was had, with surprisingly good seeing at Mental’s place. The Santel remained dew-free in conditions that would have seen SCT correctors dripping and sodden with dew. No heater, just the white coreflute dew cap.
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