When looking at the future scheduled One-Click Observations, in the section “Future Observations”, you can often see that the expected completion time of the scheduled observations keeps changing.
This is perfectly normal and expected. The changes in the schedule are driven by:
- Changes in the weather forecast
- The need to reacquire poor quality images (remember that we have strict quality controls!)
- Unforeseen technical issues
- Changing priority of observations thanks to our users’ upvotes
Such changes can generate delays of single observations of several days or even weeks. This is because, when an observation is postponed, we obviously still need to respect the observing constraints.
For instance, imagine we had an observation planned for today requiring for the moon to be below the horizon. The weather worsens and the observation fails. For the next couple of days, the weather is also poor. Then it’s clear again. But wait! The moon is now above the horizon and we can’t take the images. So we need to wait until the next new moon phase to take this observation. And that’s a 2 weeks delay!
If you reserve and upvote future observations, this changing schedule might be annoying.
To maximise the chances to get your data earlier. If the chosen One-Click is scheduled to happen in the next few days.
- Check the weather at the observatory site in which your chosen One-Click is scheduled. Here you can find the list of weather forecast websites that we too use for checking the weather at our observatories (Spain, Australia and Chile). Save them on your browser so you have them ready to use. Note that CLEAR doesn’t always mean that the weather will be good enough for deep-sky observing!
If the weather looks poor, you can remove your upvote and reservation, get the credit refund, and pick another observation from another observatory with better weather.
- Take also a look at the moon phase. “Broadband imaging” (using the Luminance, Red, Green or Blue filters, or LRGB) have to be taken with moon illuminations lower than 25%. If we are going towards a full moon, then the chances of One-Click Observations obtained in LRGB being postponed by one week or more increase a lot. “Narrowband imaging” (using Halpha, OIII or SII, or HSO) are less affected by moon reflections, so we can also observe such One-Clicks during the full moon. These observations have lower chances of being postponed.
So, in short: you should primarily schedule LRGB One-Click Observations during or just before the new moon phase, and the HSO observations during or just before the full moon phase.
The good thing about having 3 observatories at your disposal – each one located in a different part of the world – is that chances are that you will almost always find a spot of clear sky for an observation.