[AZ-Observing] Sunglow (was: Tucson Observing Sites)

  • From: "polakis@xxxxxxxx" <polakis@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: "az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2001 11:36:14 -0500

Brian says that by all accounts the seeing is consistently poor at Sunglow.  
Wil, who has observed there more than anybod=
y on this list, disagrees.

Based on my limited data, I tend to side with Brian. I counted up the number of 
nights I have spent at Sunglow, which is =
now 21.  I think I've been clouded out five or six times.  I can remember three 
of the clear nights in which I would say =
the seeing is in line with or better than low-desert sites such as Vekol or 
Sentinel.  On all of the others, I have been =
limited in my 10-inch and 20-inch scopes to a magnification of less than 150x 
until the images become painful to look at.=
  Perhaps the poor seeing doesn't reveal itself as much in the smaller 
apertures or wide field astrophotos that Wil takes=

Brian pointed correctly to the mechanism behind Sunglow's unstable air.  The 
last thing you want is a 4000-foot rise imme=
diately to your east.  Even at Vekol, I notice a predictable seeing 
degradataion associated with an easterly breeze sever=
al hours into the night.  It's certainly worse in the foothills of high 
mountains, and that shows up in the eyepiece.  I =
hope Frank Kraljic has more to say about this, as he is even more finicky about 
seeing than I am.

This says nothing about transparency or darkness, which are as good as it can 
be not only in the United States but on the=
 planet.  Go to Outback Australia, and it won't be any darker than Sunglow at 
the zenith.  And the transparency won't be =
as good as Sunglow, since you won't find many places at 5000 feet, which is 
ideal for my tastes.

What would be interesting is a survey of practical sites of southern Arizona in 
which the seeing was measured.  Don't loo=
k at me.


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