Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Confessions of a depressed astronomer

Lingering Cold Core Lows, conflicting schedules, dragon boat races and what have you have put observing onto the back burner of life. The saddest thing to see as an astronomer is looking at two refractors staring at a blank ceiling as opposed to a night sky. No matter how you slice it, the evenings of end of June and beginning of July have been total duds in Toronto/Mississauga. There was one grand night, but I was too busy getting ready for Hamilton Waterfest...oh well, it happens.

Cold Core Lows are nothing new in Southern Ontario and around the Great Lakes. They visit, spin, sit, spin, sit and spin, spin and sit all the while inundating the area with clouds, rain, sun, clouds, rain, sun but not necessarily in that order. This past one was particularly stubborn and refused to leave for sometime. The only odd part about this was the timing. Typically they don't visit in late June, but this one decided to arrive late. On the positives were clear air and moderate temperatures. The down side was no observing...they have to be the ultimate insult to the astronomer. Your scopes just sit. You hope to despair. It's not a good feeling.

Alas the thing finally blew away, but schedules got busier and well, you know the rest. One night soon the Pronto or Antares will get the call. When that will be is whenever it can happen, at least I hope soon. Until then, two refractors just sit idle, looking at a ceiling. It's sad.


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