I almost went to bed as the weather forcast said it would be cloudy nearly all the way through the night, before I did though I stuck my head out the window, to my suprise it was as clear as you could wish for. Checking the forecast again it still showed cloud all night, should I risk seting up – only to stop again if and when the clouds do roll in ?. The beauty of my observatory is that it only takes 5 minutes to start imaging, so to heck with it I’ll give it a try and I’m glad I did as it stayed clear all the time I was imaging – bonus. This does beg the question of how far can you trust the weather forecast, if it turns out wrong for only an hour ahead what hope do you have for a day or even a week ahead if your trying to plan your imaging sessions – seems the answer is; not much. I use two sources for the weather, the Met office forecast and Clear Outside – I also sometimes look at the satellite images for the UK from sat24.com. the lesson here is dont believe the forecast all the time, stick your head out and take a look for yourself. Anyway I used this unexpected gift of clearness to gather more images of the Pelican nebula IC5070 in Ha and OIII and to try out a new Flats panel from EBay costing about £35, it’s a Ultrathin Light Pad Art Tracing Board in B4 size, it has 3 brightness settings, a very even illumination and weighs next to nothing – all you do is point your scope straight up, rest the panel on top and take your flat frames, I found the lowest light setting and an ADU of 10,000 to work well for the OIII filter. I captured an extra 15 frames in Ha and 28 frames in OIII more than enough to finish the Pelican.
Seems I’ll be using a third source for the weather forecast, looking out the window.