Seeing things in the sky – or not

I watched the partial eclipse of the moon last night and, frankly, the visibility at 8:00pm was far better than it is as I write this at 3:30 in the afternoon. Sadly, the conditions do not bode as well for the Transit of Venus tomorrow.

Just in case looking out my window was not confirmation enough of the disastrous state of sky-viewing affairs I did the geeky thing and tracked down a website which could show me on a computer screen that things were, indeed, as bad as I feared.

Seriously though the website is very good. SkippySky shows cloud cover and viewing conditions now and for up to 120 hours into the future. That is apparently harder than you might think; as its creator explains:

Now, if I plotted the actual data, you’d see square patches of various colours, sixteen per square degree. That can be difficult to interpret, hence the data is contoured to make it easier on the eye and on the brain.

Unfortunately, no matter how easy SkippySky is on the eye and the brain, it isn’t changing the fact that it’s going to be overcast tomorrow morning.

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