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Weather woes…

Seriously, this weather is getting beyond a joke now.

It’s ******** August… that means it’s supposed to be Summer, right? You know, “summer”? That hot, dry, blue-sky season always shown in school books when we were kids as a time of kids building sandcastles on a beach, eating ice creams and peering into rock pools for crabs? (Just like Autumn was always “kids sploshing in puddles, in their wellies, carrying umbrellas and wearing yellow raincoats, beneath a sky full of falling leaves”, Winter was always “kids in duffle coats building a snowman” and Spring was always “kids watching lambs jumping about”, remember?)

But no, not this year. This year it’s more like a bleeping monsoon here. Day after day of cloud, thick, porridgy cloud, curdled milk cloud that is good for nothing. It’s raining too, a lot, as one weather system after another rolls in from the west. Rubbish.

But, confession time – it’s probably my fault.

Why? Because I’ve borrowed a Coronado solar telescope to use in our Solar System Scale Model event next Saturday, and was hoping to do some sun-gazing with it before then. So, of course, since I borrowed it the Sun has been hidden from view by layers of cloud thicker than Katie Price. Unbelievable.

I’ve managed to look at the Sun through the lovely Coronado PST twice in the past week, really, just twice. Amazing view.. fine details visible on the disc, including sunspots and faculae. And, around the edge of the solar disc – prominences! Feathery clouds of red hanging above it, just beautiful. I can now see why people get so hooked on solar observing, I really can, because being able to see these features on our nearest star is seriously magical and thrilling.

I now want a Coronado of my own, seriously, but at £450 a time I’m going to either have to do a LOT of overtime or sell a kidney or something. Then I can’t help wondering “Is it worth it?” because of our crap weather. The Coronado is sold as “The telescope that you can use in the daytime!”, but daytimes here are more often than not Sun-free… and that’s a lot of money to spend on something that will only come out of the box a couple of times a week, if I’m lucky…

Oh, I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it. In the meantime, here’s the one and only pic I’ve managed to take through the ‘scope so far, which I’m very pleased with seeing as it was a real rush job…

The disc is over-exposed, but look closely and you can see prominences around it. 🙂

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3 Responses

  1. Very Apt piece and well written as always. You have managed to totally encapsulate my thoughts on solar viewing, which for now I will stick with the Baadar filter for now, at only £30.00 a pop the outlay is acceptable for the usage times.

    The Cumbrian skies are very frustrating at times!

    Good Luck and Hope you get your Coronado! Wonder if they ever come up second hand?

  2. The skies are no better up here in Scotland…I may have to get into radio astronomy! :o)

  3. Don’t come across the pond here to Seattle either. We are having a summer just as frustrating. Astronomy has been canceled this summer…..actually, it’s been bad for about a year and a half now. I’ve threatened to sell my telescope and all the gear for a new hobby.

    Tom

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