Tombstone Sky
Dark-Site Observatory

Tombstone Observatory Astronomy About This Site


Tombstone Sky Observatory
Sky Conditions

These graphics are provided by other sites that support astronomy. Use Transparency for stargazing, and Seeing for telescoping. The bluer the better, ignore black.

Two-Day Detail

Clear-Sky Clock for Tombstone Sky Observatory
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One-Week Forecast

Shows Transparency and Moon phase. Blocks are for 5pm, 8pm, 11pm, 2am, and 5am.
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For those of you who'd like further explanation: 'Transparency' is the ability to see through the atmosphere. Clouds, particulates and humidity negatively affect transparency. For stargazing, transparency is all you care about. But for telescopic astronomy, although transparency is important, 'Seeing' is the critical attribute of the night sky.

Seeing is very much related to the motion of the air, i.e. turbulence. This causes images to jump around in the telescope. At its worst, images in the telescope move around erratically and very noticeably. Surface winds, obviously, can negatively affect seeing. Winds aloft, and heat rising (from the Earth cooling after sunset), also cause turbulence. The heat rising from your roof can cause telescopic images to bounce like a basketball.

You can estimate both of these yourself, without any special equipment. If you know the night sky, you can judge transparency by the dimmest stars you can see. You can use the stars in the Little Dipper as a benchmark. Seeing is a little more subjective. Generally, stars twinkle, planets don't. Twinkling is cause by turbulence. If stars are not twinkling, seeing is excellent. If planets are twinkling, seeing is terrible.