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What kind of interference must astronomers contend with when observing?

Besides clouds, inclement weather and high-flying airplanes, what other interferences must astronomers contend with in the night sky?

Clouds and weather are two of the big ones, and you mentioned those. Another important problem is light pollution--light that comes from (generally manmade) sources on Earth that interfere with your observing. Don't build a telescope next to a big city or you'll have this problem. You also might have problems if you observe during a meteor shower, or if you're observing near a really bright planet like Venus or Jupiter. And then of course there's the Moon, which can complicate observations of anywhere in the sky.

October 2002, Christopher Springob (more by Christopher Springob) (Like this Answer)

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