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Winter vs. Summer telescope observing

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orionbman

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Are winter night skies usually better to be observing than summer nights? I ask this because I guess I've always just assumed winter was, because the night air feels so crisp and you think of very clear skies in winter. But is this true? Is winter better than summer when ignoring the actually cold weather for observing with telescopes?
 
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petepan

Guest
Generally, Yes. Winter is usually better than summer.<br /><br />It gets darker earlier in winter, which is good. In summer with daylight saving, you have to wait till around 9pm before it gets truely dark. Also, there is something about atmospheric conditions that are better, but of the top of my head, i can't recall the details just now.<br /><br />So, if you can bear the cold, winter is good, although, i don't mind a balmy summer evening with a cool beer.<br /><br />Cheers<br />
 
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drwayne

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I found the winter constellations easier to navigate myself.<br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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jcdenton

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Winter may be better if you live in a warmer climate, but in my subarctic tundra there's a lot more cloudiness (and freezing temperatures!).<br /><br />In terms of planetary observing, winter is better because planets are closer to the zenith. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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nevers

Guest
Be it Winter or Summer, cool, dry conditions are the best. It all depends on the locale and local conditions. I know I've been out in the desert during the summer on a totally clear and cloudless night with not a whisper of a breeze, but the heat loss from the Earth created such bad upper level atmospheric disturbances the night might as well have been overcast. To get away from it, I've travelled up into the moutains and used the elevation. I rarely have the "dew" issue so I can't say much about that. Viewing is viewing and I wouldn't let Summer or Winter dictate - just go out and use your 'scope.
 
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