Weather and Seeing
Observing planets, planetary nebulae or any celestial object with details at high power requires excellent seeing conditions.
The seeing is the term used in astronomy to quantify the steadiness or the turbulence of the atmosphere. Strong winds and high humidity in the upper atmosphere may significantly reduce the visibility of Deep Sky Objects.
The darkness of the sky is limited by light pollution, sea spray, high humidity and bushfire smoke.
Light Pollution is the fastest growing pollution on Earth.
Moon light is a natural 'light pollution" for astronomers. Unless observing the Moon the best time to observe Deep Sky Objects is between the Moon age of 17 days to New Moon to the Moon age of 6 days (see Current Moon Phase).
Limitations in Observing
During a night of bad seeing or bright Moon light we are usually limited to see only two bands on the Jupiter disc and we can hardly use power (magnification) over 100x.
On excellent seeing conditions we can use high power and see many bands, white spots, festoons and details in the great red spot. Excellent seeing with our high quality telescope can also show details on Jupiter's Galilean Moons and the Rings of Saturn.
What we are seeking is the best nights where we can boost our telescopes to their limits… But the limit will still be a power of 200x.
Port Macquarie Weather Information
The BOM Website (Bureau of Meteorology) is the most comprehensive weather websites for Australia.
It gives you a detailed forecast for the next 6 days.
Additionally you will find Weather Radar Maps, Satellite Cloud Maps and Sea-Level Pressure Analysis Charts.