We rely on several forecasting websites to plan viewings and astrophotography. Here are a few of our favorite websites with the current conditions for Anna Maria College:
- ClearDarkSky’s Clear Sky Chart
- meteoblue’s Astronomical Seeing Forecast
- Government of Canada’s Seeing Forecast For Astronomical Purposes.
Many factors effect the quality of the image seen through the eyepiece—from the precision of the optical surfaces, accuracy of alignment, humidity, cloud cover, wind, temperature, and “seeing” both inside and outside the telescope tube. Light pollution and the moon wash out all but the brightest objects.
Deep sky observations require the darkest of skies. On a clear night with a stable upper atmosphere stars appear like pinpoints of light. In adverse conditions they may present as wildly dancing blobs of light.
Additional information about the meteoblue astronomical seeing prediction:
- Look for dark blue colors in the cloud cover and green values in the seeing indexes and jet stream for good seeing conditions.
- The estimated seeing indexes (1 & 2) range from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) seeing conditions. These values are computed based on the integration of turbulent layers in the atmosphere.
- Cloud cover ranges from dark blue (0%) to white (100%). Fog or very low clouds are not shown here (see pictocast for fog).
- High jetstream speeds (>20m/s) usually correspond to bad seeing.
- Bad layers have a temperature gradient of more than 0.5K/100m. The top and bottom heights of the bad layers are indicated.
- LMVMJSUNP => Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
- Move your cursor over the celestial bodies column to see coordinates for each celestial body: Azimuth (Az), altitude (Alt), right ascension (RA) and declination (DEC).