Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wondering about clear days.

Being an owner of several telescopes and one who loves to look at the sky whether through a scope or just my plain old blue eyes, I like clear nights which usually follow clear days.  Clear and dry are best.  High moisture in the air tends to hide allusive targets.  Therefore, it is nice to be in an area that has the largest percentage of clear days (and nights) if you are planning to do any star gazing.

Below is a map showing the average number of clear days in the United States.  I live near the Texas Gulf coast north of Houston and as you can see from this map I am located in the next to the worst area for clear days.  The south west is the best.  Take a look at the map and tell me if you live in an area that is clear or not.

The other thing that is important is the absence of man made lighting.  It is much, much worse if the lighting is reflected off high moisture in the air.  The world is getting really light polluted and the map below shows the U.S. at night: 

Do you live in a light polluted area?  I do, and it is an area with high humidity which makes it a lot worse.  I thought that last night was going to clear off.  I went out and checked and it was really clear.  Jupiter was almost into the Pleiades.  It was a pretty site and then the clouds moved in.  Glad I didn't go to all the trouble of getting my big scope outside and put together.  Now may all your days be bright and your nights clear, you hear?


  1. I'm in the 100-140 days of clear. Light pollution isn't too bad around here. I'm almost surrounded by Amish, although some do have those dreaded pole lights. I remember, when we bought this place, my friend Joyce's husband insisted that I get a pole light. He was quite upset with me when I refused.

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  4. Try 3. I am in the green area here in Del Rio. I could be orange by March.

  5. I see the outline of West Virginia in the light polution map. Folks there can still see the stars.

  6. I'm lucky if I can see the moon, and maybe one of the brighter planets such as Jupiter or Venus.

  7. Sharon, I hate unneccessary outside lights at night. They even disturb wild life and attract bugs which attracts toads and snakes.

    Barney, I have been wondering if I should try and take my big scope to Terlingua the next time I go. Of course there are a lot of lights in the RV park there.

    Trouble, you are better than where I live except my back yard is pretty dark.

    Jimkabob, that is because it is hard to see one or two oil lamps from space (grin).

    Gypsy, dang, is that all you can see from there? That is a bummer.