First Clear Night observing: how it works.

The Abingdon Astronomical Society Observing Evenings occur on the first clear night of the appropriate dates published in the programme. It is important to understand that they do NOT take place on EVERY clear night on those dates.

The first date will always be a Monday. So on that Monday, check the weather. Obviously, if it is pouring with rain then we will not be going that particular night. However if it is clear, or partially clear, then it is possible that the observing evening will take place that night.

To find out if it is going to occur that night, phone Steve Creasey on 07876 880253 AFTER 6:30PM or check for an announcement on the societies email list (, this web site, Twitter or Facebook shortly AFTER 6:30PM. The final decision will be taken by that time (after checking the weather forecasts on TV, radio and internet). Phoning before 6:30PM will only result in you having to ring back later.

Do NOT go to the observing site without telephoning and/or checking first. If it is a long time after 6:30PM, don’t worry, call Steve on 07876 880253.

If you have any doubt over whether it is clear enough or not, telephone. It may be partially clear where you are but completely clear nearer the observing site. Conversely, it may be clear where you are but cloudy at the observing site.

If it is too cloudy (or windy) on the first Monday. We try again on the next day – the same procedure, phoning after 6:30PM, etc.

If Tuesday is cloudy, we try again on the Wednesday.

If the Wednesday is cloudy, then we have to wait until the next scheduled dates (see the programme).

The observing evenings start at 8:00PM. You don’t have to arrive there at exactly 8:00PM, you can arrive at any time you want to after that (you can get there before 8:00PM if you want, but you will probably be on your own until then). You can leave any time you want to – so you could stay 30 minutes, or until the end (which is usually about 11:00PM, clouds and cold permitting), it’s up to you.

If you have any further queries, phone Steve Creasey on 07876 880253.

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