Frustration upon frustrations! That is the nature of this astrophotography beast.

Over the past few weeks, lousy imaging conditions have made taking any decent photos simply infeasible for me for the most part. Earlier this month, hot air and winds from the Sahara covered parts of Spain in an orange blanket of dust resembling a post-apocalyptic scene from a movie. These dust plumes from the desert often wreak havoc with imaging conditions every year, but some years are worse than others. This one certainly has not been a fun one over the past few weeks, but hopefully, things will improve soon.

When Mars-like dust skies were not the issue, the angry jet stream conditions over Europe made things just as challenging over the past few weeks. Atmospheric turbulence makes stars dance around like they have jazz hands. Guiding becomes increasingly more complex, and the more the jet stream is active over the observatory location, the worse imaging results become with soft, fuzzy stars and fluffy nebulae clouds with little detail.

meteoblue

The current seeing forecast from MeteoBlue does not look too good for the next 14 days either, but conditions change, so I can only hope that things start to calm down soon. Typically the jet stream is less active during the summer months because the difference in air temperatures between equatorial regions and higher elevations is smaller. This coming week still has lots of cloud cover predicted with bad seeing conditions and a wicked jet stream expected, so I will have to be patient 🙂

Featured image credit: https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/03/16/dust-from-the-sahara-desert-turns-skies-in-spain-orange