Rotating Question Curious About Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer

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)

Still Curious?

Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:

Related questions:

More questions about Stargazing: Previous | Next

How to ask a question:

If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.

Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist

This page has been accessed 19093 times since October 9, 2002.
Last modified: December 3, 2002 3:32:27 PM

Legal questions? See our copyright, disclaimer and privacy policy.
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.

Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)