Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cloud happens

Tonight has not been a fun night at the telescope. At sunset, it was completely cloudy, but the cloud forecasts from the Clear Sky Chart claimed it would clear by 1am, so we hunkered down. Within an hour, the skies overhead cleared, so we opened the dome and started our observations.

However, the clear spot was what is known as a "sucker hole," meaning you are a sucker to think you can get good data. After about 45 minutes, the hole closed, and the skies have been mostly cloudy ever since, always teasing to clear, but never good enough to start working.

In another half hour, I'm giving up if it is not clear. Our observations need several hours to be worthwhile, and it is four hours to dawn now. I could be trying to work, but sometimes no data is better than bad data. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

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