Clear data from 2020


William McLaughlin
 

Just thought this might be of interest, given that tonite the forecast is crud, I have completed our sky data for 2020. Some background:

We started mid-January so had 348 nights in the data.

We keep track of this because our system is shared between Tom Carrico and myself, 50/50 (two on, two off) and wanted to be as fair as possible in clear night distribution.  To do that, we rate each night on a scale of 0 (unusable all night) to 1.0 (useable  all night) in increments of .25. So a night that is .87 useable would be a .75, a night that is .2 usable would be a zero, and only total nights are a 1.0. In other words, we round down to the closest .25 night.  It can be unusable for a number of reasons, wind, clouds, or high clouds that give crap data, even equipment issues that have not been fixed yet (not too many of those, but a few).

We also do not generally count something that clears up after we go to bed on the West coast (which would be around 11PM Mountain time) unless we just happen to be up and start a session mid-night (which is rare).

My spreadsheet comes up with a number we call UDP (useable data percentage)  for 2020 that was 45.3 % Chance also dictated that we were nearly dead even between us with only .5 night more for me.....

Take Care


--
******************
My images can be found at:

and


Dan Crowson
 

I looked at my log that isn’t as detailed. It looks like we opened just above 190 times which is less than all the perivous years. I think we’ve been there for five. I do some variable star work that can start before dark and it is a lot more forgiving than pretty picture stuff (out of focus or huge stars are fine and sometimes recommended).

 

I can say without a doubt that this has been the year for terrible seeing. There have been a lot of nights that we’re open but the seeing doesn’t support my long (2430mm) but relatively short scope. The last few nights are perfect examples.

 

Dan

----          
Dan Crowson                          dcrowson@...
Dardenne Prairie MO               http://www.crowson.com

 

From: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io [mailto:DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io] On Behalf Of William McLaughlin
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2020 9:21 AM
To: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io
Subject: [DarkSkyNewMexico] Clear data from 2020

 

Just thought this might be of interest, given that tonite the forecast is crud, I have completed our sky data for 2020. Some background:

We started mid-January so had 348 nights in the data.

We keep track of this because our system is shared between Tom Carrico and myself, 50/50 (two on, two off) and wanted to be as fair as possible in clear night distribution.  To do that, we rate each night on a scale of 0 (unusable all night) to 1.0 (useable  all night) in increments of .25. So a night that is .87 useable would be a .75, a night that is .2 usable would be a zero, and only total nights are a 1.0. In other words, we round down to the closest .25 night.  It can be unusable for a number of reasons, wind, clouds, or high clouds that give crap data, even equipment issues that have not been fixed yet (not too many of those, but a few).

We also do not generally count something that clears up after we go to bed on the West coast (which would be around 11PM Mountain time) unless we just happen to be up and start a session mid-night (which is rare).

My spreadsheet comes up with a number we call UDP (useable data percentage)  for 2020 that was 45.3 % Chance also dictated that we were nearly dead even between us with only .5 night more for me.....

Take Care


--

******************
My images can be found at:

and


William McLaughlin
 

Seeing not as much of an issue for us with our longest FL at 580 and the shortest at 200.  Here is the monthly data. Not hard to find the monsoons! <G>

DSNM Month Breakdown
 
Jan (partial):  5
Feb:             11
March:           5
April:            14
May:            22
June:           17
July:              2
August:         1
Sept:           23
Oct:             22
Nov:            18
Dec:            18


--
******************
My images can be found at:

and


Dan Crowson
 

Hehehee, definitely not. I can shoot almost every night clear with my 610mm refractor here at home. I could image down below 10 degrees at DSNM. I really need to get a second scope going for the bad nights.

 

----          
Dan Crowson                          dcrowson@...
Dardenne Prairie MO               http://www.crowson.com

 

From: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io [mailto:DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io] On Behalf Of William McLaughlin
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2020 9:43 AM
To: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io
Subject: Re: [DarkSkyNewMexico] Clear data from 2020

 

Seeing not as much of an issue for us with our longest FL at 580 and the shortest at 200.  Here is the monthly data. Not hard to find the monsoons! <G>

DSNM Month Breakdown

 

Jan (partial):  5

Feb:             11

March:           5

April:            14

May:            22

June:           17

July:              2

August:         1

Sept:           23

Oct:             22

Nov:            18

Dec:            18



--

******************
My images can be found at:

and


William McLaughlin
 

Indeed, here in Oregon the winter seeing is awful (on the few nights it is clear, it can be 4-5 arcsec!) so almost never use my iDK, rather I tend to use the 200 mm camera lens system  that I made (similar to the one in NM).

Speaking of seeing, I really wish they would install a seeing monitor!  I have one at home (SBIG) and it is very useful in telling me if I should be using the long FL system. Almost all of the other remote sites have one.

--
******************
My images can be found at:

and


Tom Carrico
 

Given that you are including the monsoon season, that is about the number I would expect. If you remove the monsoon, we are likely over 50% utilization, or close to 190 nights a year. In the Oregon Willamette Valley, I get about 45-50 clear nights a year, and half of them are doing the monsoon in New Mexico. I would say it is working about as expected. 
It would be nice if there was a seeing monitor down there. 

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 7:51 AM William McLaughlin <IC5070@...> wrote:
Indeed, here in Oregon the winter seeing is awful (on the few nights it is clear, it can be 4-5 arcsec!) so almost never use my iDK, rather I tend to use the 200 mm camera lens system  that I made (similar to the one in NM).

Speaking of seeing, I really wish they would install a seeing monitor!  I have one at home (SBIG) and it is very useful in telling me if I should be using the long FL system. Almost all of the other remote sites have one.

--
******************
My images can be found at:

and


Dan Crowson
 

Yes. There are nights when I wonder if the terrible seeing is me or everyone. I know Stan’s building has had seeing monitors in the past. At one time, when we first moved down, I think we had the info (and SQM) on our website but we lost access. I asked a couple times in the past but it never happened. I’m not complaining but these days it is trivial to send up a text file somewhere. I’d offer up hosting it (even if that means providing computer equipment, etc) and making it accessible if we could get several people to pitch in to fund it.

 

The closest thing I have right now is the one at Arizona Sky Village (I find the weather can be quite a bit different there and being against the mountains impacts it) or the CSC. In the past that was largely based on the wind forecast.


Dan

----          
Dan Crowson                          dcrowson@...
Dardenne Prairie MO               http://www.crowson.com

 

From: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io [mailto:DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io] On Behalf Of Tom Carrico
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2020 12:41 PM
To: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io
Subject: Re: [DarkSkyNewMexico] Clear data from 2020

 

Given that you are including the monsoon season, that is about the number I would expect. If you remove the monsoon, we are likely over 50% utilization, or close to 190 nights a year. In the Oregon Willamette Valley, I get about 45-50 clear nights a year, and half of them are doing the monsoon in New Mexico. I would say it is working about as expected. 

It would be nice if there was a seeing monitor down there. 

 

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 7:51 AM William McLaughlin <IC5070@...> wrote:

Indeed, here in Oregon the winter seeing is awful (on the few nights it is clear, it can be 4-5 arcsec!) so almost never use my iDK, rather I tend to use the 200 mm camera lens system  that I made (similar to the one in NM).

Speaking of seeing, I really wish they would install a seeing monitor!  I have one at home (SBIG) and it is very useful in telling me if I should be using the long FL system. Almost all of the other remote sites have one.

--

******************
My images can be found at:

and


Brian Ottum
 

In a perfect world, DSNM should have ONE kick-ass weather station, ONE kick-ass all-sky camera, and ONE seeing monitor for ALL to use.  Silly for us to duplicate efforts.

Sorry for the rant.

Brian

 

 

From: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io <DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io> On Behalf Of Dan Crowson
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2020 3:02 PM
To: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io
Subject: Re: [DarkSkyNewMexico] Clear data from 2020

 

Yes. There are nights when I wonder if the terrible seeing is me or everyone. I know Stan’s building has had seeing monitors in the past. At one time, when we first moved down, I think we had the info (and SQM) on our website but we lost access. I asked a couple times in the past but it never happened. I’m not complaining but these days it is trivial to send up a text file somewhere. I’d offer up hosting it (even if that means providing computer equipment, etc) and making it accessible if we could get several people to pitch in to fund it.

 

The closest thing I have right now is the one at Arizona Sky Village (I find the weather can be quite a bit different there and being against the mountains impacts it) or the CSC. In the past that was largely based on the wind forecast.


Dan

----          
Dan Crowson                          dcrowson@...
Dardenne Prairie MO               http://www.crowson.com

 

From: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io [mailto:DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io] On Behalf Of Tom Carrico
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2020 12:41 PM
To: DarkSkyNewMexico@groups.io
Subject: Re: [DarkSkyNewMexico] Clear data from 2020

 

Given that you are including the monsoon season, that is about the number I would expect. If you remove the monsoon, we are likely over 50% utilization, or close to 190 nights a year. In the Oregon Willamette Valley, I get about 45-50 clear nights a year, and half of them are doing the monsoon in New Mexico. I would say it is working about as expected. 

It would be nice if there was a seeing monitor down there. 

 

On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 7:51 AM William McLaughlin <IC5070@...> wrote:

Indeed, here in Oregon the winter seeing is awful (on the few nights it is clear, it can be 4-5 arcsec!) so almost never use my iDK, rather I tend to use the 200 mm camera lens system  that I made (similar to the one in NM).

Speaking of seeing, I really wish they would install a seeing monitor!  I have one at home (SBIG) and it is very useful in telling me if I should be using the long FL system. Almost all of the other remote sites have one.

--

******************
My images can be found at:

and


MJ Post
 

Thanks so much for your "clear skies analysis," William.  Very interesting, and  I enjoyed reading Dan's reply as well.  Compared to conditions along the Front Range in Colorado, which have been getting worse and worse yearly, DSNM is magnificent.  We seldom get 3 arc sec seeing, more typically 4-5 arc sec.  So the recent 1.5 - 2.5 seeing at DSNM is great by comparison.
 
I agree, DSNM should provide quality instruments for its clients instead of making all individuals buy duplicate instruments - wx obs, seeing, all-sky camera, and SQM readings.  Probably not likely to happen, however, because that's more burden on limited staff.
 
MJ Post 

On 12/31/2020 8:42 AM William McLaughlin <ic5070@...> wrote:
 
 
Seeing not as much of an issue for us with our longest FL at 580 and the shortest at 200.  Here is the monthly data. Not hard to find the monsoons! <G>

DSNM Month Breakdown
 
Jan (partial):  5
Feb:             11
March:           5
April:            14
May:            22
June:           17
July:              2
August:         1
Sept:           23
Oct:             22
Nov:            18
Dec:            18


--
******************
My images can be found at:

and


William McLaughlin
 

Indeed! A single solution with high quality well maintained equipment for seeing, all sky, weather, as well as at least one non-IR starlight webcam per observatory is what it very clearly needed. All available in one place, on one website, and available to everyone via nothing more than a browser. To be honest, that is what I was expecting when we came to DSNM, for the simple reason that basically every other remote site has just that. I would even be willing to help pay for that in some way, assuming it was indeed the quality and functionality that we see elsewhere (meaning it is always kept working and always available).

Also sorry for the rant, but I have this all at home and that is just up the hill a hundred feet and even there it is helpful, much less 1000 miles away.

--
******************
My images can be found at:

and