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The Ice Man Freezeth

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Author Topic: The Ice Man Freezeth  (Read 233 times)
brianb
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« on: December 07, 2008, 11:22:32 am »

Well, not quite, though I did get a couple of finger ends numbed ... must try to replace the thin glove liners I once had. And, note for next time I'm observing in minus temps with a land beeze effect (15mph southerly wind), wear a windproof shell instead of the more comfortable but draughty jacket.

The wind was also carrying intermittent freezing fog, the sky transparency was continuously varying between not bad and awful; local lighting was making the fog luminous, and the Moon wasn't helping either in the early session (1730 - 2200, finished early as the fog seemed to be thickening). Up again at 0415 when it really was not very pleasant, did manage a few observations though. Interestingly the seeing, which was pretty good in the evening, had deterioriated badly, stars were "smeared" so that getting accurate focus was difficult even at x133. I call this "jet stream seeing", AT the time there was little evidence of high cloud - it was probably there, but without a Moon to illuminate it, it was not visible except by its effect on the limiting magnitude, which was again hidden by the fog. However this morning it is obvious that frontal high cloud is spreading in.

"Properly cold" is when your whole body feels like my finger ends did this morning! Probably very close to terminal hypothermia....

Edit: Forgot to mention this but, I don't know where the fog was coming from, but it stank of burning coal the way that I remember Derby smogs before the Clean Air Act. Also the fog could be seen in the lower part of the village even when clear higher up - it was as good an example of a katabatic wind as you could find, channelled by the Bush valley & only occasionally spilling as far up the valley side as my location (not quite 20 metres above sea level).

Wind now strengthened slightly, fog gone, temperature rising above freezing, sky 100% cirrostaratus thickening to altostratus. Gonna rain later.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 11:43:26 am by brianb » Report Spam   Logged

Roman White
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2008, 04:04:45 pm »

"Properly cold" is when your whole body feels like my finger ends did this morning! Probably very close to terminal hypothermia....
You must be careful with that... (oh, you must also look at me when I'm going to observe at -15C  Grin )
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martinastro
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2008, 04:28:48 pm »

Sounds like a bone chilling selection of sessions you had last night Brian. The smell to the fog is an interesting one. I know how feel, I was out to very late last night also and had the same troubles although it was dead calm here. Freezing fog at times however the sky was quite good all the same. I also noted the smearing (good name given to that effect) of the stars. I had spent all evening fine tuning the collimation of the reflector and couldn't understand why the stars would not focus this morning, even in the low power eyepiece, until I seen Sirius winking like crazy. It's tough observing for sure...for the obsever and for the scope.
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Roman White
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2008, 03:24:44 pm »

(...) until I seen Sirius winking like crazy.(...)
I often see it 'winking like crazy' when it rises late evening.
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