Well, it’s early March. The longest month of the winter. By my count, we’ve had about five clear nights. It seems that every time I look up, I see thick grey skies looking back at me. As the cloudy winter days drag on and on, I’m reminded of a joke told by our observatory director Raymond Dague, who cheerfully reminds us that the “Syracuse nebula” is always visible!
So, what is an astronomer to do during these long winter nights with few if any observing opportunities? Plenty. For starters, if you own a telescope, this is the ideal time to get clean up your optics and your eyepieces. A good place to start is with this article from Sky & Telescope magazine.