Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Sky quality - the lack of quality

I have found over the past few years that observing in the UK is becoming more and more frustrating. It is not the lack of clear nights as the quality of clear nights, we still get as many (or as few!) as we ever did, but there seems to be a lot more haze about than there used to be. This is due to pollution in the atmosphere which is no great surprise bearing in mind that the UK is one of Europe's (even the world's perhaps) most densely populated countries (60+ million and rising all the time - ridiculous).
I brought back a stack of Larry Mitchell's Advanced Observing Lists from the TSP last year and, while a proportion of the objects are within my 12-inch Dob's capabilities (when I can get the mirror cell problem sorted), I have quickly come to the conclusion that I have no chance of doing the list, not from here.

About a week ago I emailed the Astronomy Society of New South Wales about observing but so far I have not received a reply. I hope it's because they've not received the mail, rather than forgetting about it or, worse, ignoring it. I did use their contact form, so there's no excuse for the mail having gone missing. I can't imagine them having ignored it, amateur astronomers are a decent bunch and do not tend to ignore people. So I am assuming that it's because these things are run on a voluntary basis that they haven't got round to it yet.
Still annoying though.