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Clear skies, anyone?

Started by Rick, Mar 08, 2023, 10:20:13

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OK. Who's been spending a fortune on new astro kit???  ;)

It's snowing here in the Cotswolds. At the moment there's snow settled on the grass but not on the road, and the temperature's just above freezing, so I guess the snow won't last. Yesterday morning Worcester Beacon was snow-capped, but that snow had gone by early afternoon.

Most of March's nights so far it's been completely cloudy. There've been a couple of nights when my meteor camera has detected enough stars to look for meteors, but it hasn't detected a single meteor yet this month...  :frog:

Dave A

Hi Rick,

I just spent £270 on a new ZWOasi662 planetary camera, should be delivered by tomorrow and I would like test it out ASAP.
Too much Snow, too cloudy, I want some nice clear skies for a few nights!!


Your camera hasn't arrived yet. The cloudy nights can't be your fault!  ;)  :twisted:

Dave A


My Global Meteor Network system does some by-the-way analysis of how much of the time it thinks the night sky is clear. Sometimes it spots the odd meteor through a gap in the clouds even when the sky's not clear. For March, it didn't see that much:
10/11 March 2.83 hours ( 3 meteors)
13/14 March 2.50 hours (10 meteors)
14/15 March 9.08 hours (29 meteors)
16/17 March 0.00 hours ( 3 meteors)
18/19 March 4.33 hours (30 meteors)
22/23 March 2.83 hours ( 4 meteors)
23/24 March 5.17 hours (15 meteors and some auroral activity)
24/25 March 0.00 hours ( 2 meteors)
28/29 March 0.00 hours ( 3 meteors)
29/30 March 0.00 hours ( 1 meteor)

Only a hundred meteors spotted in the entire month. There have been single nights when it's seen over twice as many. Here's hoping April will be better.  :beer:

Dave A

very interesting analysis-  yes lets hope we have a lot more clearer skies in April


So far this month, it's detected clear skies for:

02/03 April 8.75 hours (24 meteors)
03/04 April 8.67 hours (20 meteors)
05/06 April 8.42 hours (11 meteors)
07/08 April 8.33 hours (28 meteors)

So I think April has already almost matched passed March for clear skies, if not quite yet for meteors.


Funny old weather we're getting at the moment. We've had lmost no rain for nearly a month. The last reasonable rainfall was on May 12th. Since then there've been a couple of occasions when we got just enough for the rain gauge to record its minimum of 0.1mm, but that's it.

Hottest day in the last month was 18th May, when it got up to almost 22C. On 28th May it got up to 21C. All the rest of the time it has been 20C or below, and on 31st May it barely got to 15C.

As far as the nights are concerned, cloud has been quite persistent. We've had a few sunny days followed by cloudy nights.

Meteor counts have been well down as a result. Since the beginning of May it's gone something like this, with sixteen cloudy nights (though a few with gaps enough for the camera to catch a meteor or three), ten partly cloudy nights, and eleven clear (or mostly clear) nights...

01/02 May 5.50 hours (13 meteors)
02/03 May 0.00 hours ( 2 meteors)
03/04 May nothing
04/05 May nothing
05/06 May nothing
06/07 May 0.00 hours ( 3 meteors)
07/08 May 0.00 hours ( 3 meteors)
08/09 May nothing
09/10 May 2.75 hours (13 meteors)
10/11 May 4.00 hours (23 meteors)
11/12 May 3.67 hours (11 meteors)
12/13 May nothing
13/14 May 5.50 hours (12 meteors)
14/15 May nothing
15/16 May 5.50 hours (18 meteors)
16/17 May 4.08 hours ( 8 meteors)
17/18 May nothing
18/19 May nothing
19/20 May 2.33 hours ( 8 meteors)
20/21 May 5.00 hours ( 9 meteors)
21/22 May 4.58 hours (11 meteors)
22/23 May 2.34 hours ( 9 meteors)
23/24 May 3.50 hours ( 6 meteors)
24/25 May 4.50 hours (10 meteors)
25/26 May 3.17 hours ( 4 meteors)
26/27 May 4.42 hours (10 meteors)
27/28 May 4.25 hours ( 9 meteors)
28/29 May 3.92 hours (11 meteors)
29/30 May nothing
30/31 May nothing
31/01 Jun nothing
01/02 Jun nothing
02/03 Jun 4.00 hours ( 4 meteors)
03/04 Jun 4.00 hours ( 1 meteor)
04/05 Jun 4.00 hours ( 6 meteors)
05/06 Jun nothing


June 6/7 was also a complete cloud-out, but the last two nights havn't been too bad. I'm blaming the cloudy nights on this:



Hello Rick, hope all is well. I am a new member OAS


Heh, clear skies come and go. Not done a thorough analysis recently, but a quick look at my meteor camera output shows me that of the last 30 days, 13 have been completely clouded out, and 8 more had less than a couple of hours of clear sky. I guess it's just that time of year...


Clouded out again last night... :/

The Thing

Rain, Cloud, Wind. Horrendous.


First Light Optics have a useful study on the positive correlation between the purchase of expensive new kit and bad weather on their blog. If you to search for it, it is dated 1st April 2018.


Sir Isaac Newton should have said, "If I have seen further than others it is by inventing my own telescope".


It would be helpful if weather apps could all make the same forecasts.  Sometimes you don't know what to believe.