Astronomical League "seeing and transparency"


Jonathan Scheetz
 

I plan to start working on the Astronomical League's "Urban Observing Program".
For recording log entries it requires entries for "seeing and transparency"
I would like to use Sky Safari and Live Sky to log my observations but it does not have separate entries for seeing and transparency.

It has the following for "seeing" and "sky quality" (where sky quality is a measure of brightness not transparency)


Will recording seeing based on the definitions above be sufficient or will I have to use another log mechanism that allows me to specify transparency.

Thank you.


Jonathan Scheetz
 

I can just record the transparency in the session comments instead of the  individual observation.  That should work.


vp
 

Good idea, Jonathan.  Sounds like you've got it figured out.  Best luck on your Urban List.  I have just one more object to find on mine.

George
On February 5, 2021 4:27 PM Jonathan Scheetz <jonathan@...> wrote:


I can just record the transparency in the session comments instead of the  individual observation.  That should work.

George Reynolds 
VP, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers 
BBAA 
Outreach Coordinator
backbayastro.org



Jim Tallman
 

You do know you can make your owe observing log, print it out, and keep it in a binder? 

:)


On Feb 5, 2021 at 13:41, Jonathan Scheetz <jonathan@...> wrote:

I plan to start working on the Astronomical League's "Urban Observing Program".
For recording log entries it requires entries for "seeing and transparency"
I would like to use Sky Safari and Live Sky to log my observations but it does not have separate entries for seeing and transparency.

It has the following for "seeing" and "sky quality" (where sky quality is a measure of brightness not transparency)


Will recording seeing based on the definitions above be sufficient or will I have to use another log mechanism that allows me to specify transparency.

Thank you.


jimcoble2000
 

Oh. Good luck on quantifying so subjective  a thing as seeing and transparency. I have no doubt that there is a range of possibilities but finding an objective standard is I fear a fools errand. It so depends on the observer, his or her experience, what instrument they are using, and what moment they choose to assign a qualitative assessment of both. All these categories are questionable.

Some one who observes double stars constantly probably has a much better understanding than the casual observer. Today there are few dedicated double star observers understandably. I pick double stars as they seem to me to be the simplest standard for judging seeing  limits. I have heard seasoned observers state that the atmosphere here allows only a three arc second discrimination. In my experience that is far too pessimistic. Kent and I have observed doubles to around 0.89 arc second separation on a regular basis. This just shows how variable the definitions are, not that Kent or I are the final word on what is possible. Not even close.  It can also change within the space of a half an hour.

So what to do? I have a set of standard test stars that give a good guide to seeing assessment.

That said, the standard you enclose seems reasonable enough as a personal standard.

On Friday, February 5, 2021, 6:59:34 PM EST, Jim Tallman <jctallman@...> wrote:


You do know you can make your owe observing log, print it out, and keep it in a binder? 

:)


On Feb 5, 2021 at 13:41, Jonathan Scheetz <jonathan@...> wrote:

I plan to start working on the Astronomical League's "Urban Observing Program".
For recording log entries it requires entries for "seeing and transparency"
I would like to use Sky Safari and Live Sky to log my observations but it does not have separate entries for seeing and transparency.

It has the following for "seeing" and "sky quality" (where sky quality is a measure of brightness not transparency)


Will recording seeing based on the definitions above be sufficient or will I have to use another log mechanism that allows me to specify transparency.

Thank you.


Ted Forte
 

In regards to the Urban List program, and suitable seeing/transparency ratings,  the only opinion that might actually matter is that of the program coordinator, Terry Trees, as he is the final word on what’s acceptable. The Urban List is one program where conditions, at least sky brightness, is of some importance as the point of the program is to observe objects in light polluted skies.

 

That said, all of the League coordinators (as one myself, I can report that we actually discuss this sort of thing among  ourselves -LOL)  recognize that it is all very subjective.  My advice is to just pick a method you like and stick with it – no one is going to challenge you on it.

 

Keep in mind that the primary objective for all of these observing programs is to encourage observers to get out and observe and to have fun doing it. Confession: In my own review of logs for the Planetary Nebula Program, I don’t pay the observer’s assessment of seeing/transparency or sky quality any notice at all.  It simply isn’t important.  The idea of assigning values to sky conditions is really more for the observer’s use in comparing observations.  As long as you are relatively consistent, they might be of some utility in, say,  figuring out why you missed a structure that your buddy reported seeing. 

 

The “philosophy” behind having observers report sky conditions is presumably so that a coordinator can compare observations, but if you don’t see the flaw in that position, there is little sense in trying to argue the point.

 

Ted


Jonathan Scheetz
 

Thank you Ted.  I will use the Astronomical League's Astronomical League's seeing and transparency guide using Polaris until I build up some experience is how to rate transparency. Reading about this has given me some insight into what to look for.

Jonathan