Added Mesonet Weather info (below) - Added 2011 Celestial Events Calendar (in Sky Check area)


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Tucson Skycast has been designed to assist in defining the quality of the Tucson night sky for astronomical observations. The site also is designed to assist in advising about the predictable astronomical events for our area. Please refer to the "ABOUT" section (below) for credit for the data, images and products depicted on this site. Check the links in the Sky Check section below for pending weather and observation opportunities.


CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT LONG RANGE TUCSON AREA FORECAST FROM INTELLICAST
CLICK HERE FOR CURRENT MESONET OBSERVATIONS IN THE TUCSON AREA FROM NWS (NOAA)


Vapor

Current Southwestern U.S. Vapor Image
Use this image as a reference to define the water vapor density in the atmosphere above the southwest. It will give an idea of pending conditions. Darker portions of the image is the areas with the least amount of water vapor and allows for the best visibility. Whiter areas indicate some loss of visibility. The very white areas indicate cloud cover thick enough to prohibit night observations.
University of Arizona Atmospheric Sciences


Current Radar
Use this image to define precipitation.
University of Arizona Atmospheric Sciences


Current Dewpoint Image
Use this image as a reference to define the current dewpoint. It will give an idea of likelihood of dew in the area.
Intellicast Weather


Frost or Freeze Image
Use this image as a reference to define the current frost or freeze warnings.
Intellicast Weather


Tomorrows expected low tempatures.

Intellicast Weather



Current Tempature Image
Use this image as a reference to define the current tempature. It will give an idea of pending conditions including the likelihood of dew in the area.
Intellicast Weather


Current Cloud Density Image
Use this image as a reference to define the current cloud density. Use this along withe the image at the top of the screen to help in choosing the best time to go observing.

GRAY IS BAD
WHITE IS BETTER

YELLOW IS GOOD

Intellicast Weather

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Clear Sky Chart updated real time
Use the charts for more specific observation criteria. The legend at the bottom of the chart will help explain the color scheme. Use the link below for additional information of other locations around Tucson or Arizona. The Tucson and Saquaro National Monument charts differ in their proximity to light pollution.

Additional Locations in the Tucson Area

ClearDarkSky.com


Weather Chart
Use this chart to show current weather trends in the immediate area.
University of Arizona Atmospheric Sciences



KPASCA (Kitt Peak All Sky Camera)
Use this image to show the cloud cover and light pollution during the night. Compare the bright areas to the image below to locate the planets, bright stars and constellations visible at the moment. Kitt Peak uses 3 different filters during the night so the image may not always be as telling. Use the link below for more control and access to historical images and data from their site. This image is from 7000ft. When this image is very light it is daytime in Tucson.
Kitt Peak Observatory


Star Chart Above Tucson
Use this image to define the location of the constellations and planets as they move through the Tucson sky. This information is valid 24 hours a day. Some of the brightest objects are visible with binoculars or a telescope during the day.
Fourmilab.ch


Current Planetary Orbit
Use this image to see the alignment of the planets from the perspective of Earth. Since all of the planets generally orbit on the same plane this will indicate the opportunity for planetary observation.
Heavens Above


Current ISS Position
Use this image to show the proximity of the ISS to Tucson. Using the link below in the Sky Check section will help you find if this is a good evening or morning for seeing the ISS as it goes by.
Heavens Above


Current view from the University of Arizona Webcam
Use this image to see what the day sky looks like. It tends to be an indicator of pending weather and atmospheric conditions. When this image is dark it is night in Tucson.
University of Arizona Computer Sciences

Moonrise data as seen from Tucson

Additional Static and Remote Controllable Cameras in Tucson

Orion Nebula

This is the Orion Nebula. This is known as a Stellar Nebula which means it is a star nursery. This is a combination of 16 photos stacked to give the most detail.

One of the wonderful things about Astrophotography is the ability to stack as many photos as that are taken to produce additional detail.
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Moons of Saturn

The Moons of Saturn. This photo was taken while Saturn was low in the sky and there was severe atmospheric disruption. This shot was over exposed to give the best opportunity for the presentation of the moons. You should be able see 4 moon with Titan being the largest
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Sirius

Sirius A and B

Sirius A is the very large star and Sirius B is the very tiny star at the 9 o'clock position to left of the Sirius A. Sirius A is the brightest star in our sky. Sirius is 9 Light Years away


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M27

This is the Dumbbell Nebula (M27)
It is a planetary nebula. Where planets are born. 1,360 light years away.

Note the Greenish item to the left center of the photo.

This is a combo of 16 images. This is not a great shot but it is what it is. What I love about this shot is the colors and depth of the stars. This is just stuff that we just don't get to see because at this magnitude our eyes are not sensitive enough to detect color.

Magnitude 7.5
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Venus

This is Venus in Phase. It has the somewhat the same phases as the moon as it reflects the suns light as the Earths moon does.
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ISS

This is a detail of the International Space Station on its pass on January 17th starting at 6:26PM over Tucson

Here is some information about the pass:

MAGNITUDE -2.3 VERY BRIGHT
START TIME 18:26:22
START ALTITUDE 10 DEGREES
START DIRECTION SW
ZENITH TIME 18:29:19
MAX ALTITUDE 67 DEGREES
END TIME 18:31:38
END ALTITUDE 15 DEGREES
END DIRECTION NE

The rectangle on the left appears to be the larger solar panels. The ISS was over 200 miles away and was traveling around 17,500 miles per hour.
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About Tucson Skies

(Please refer to the links under the descriptions for credit to the products and images presented on this page. This page serves only as a reference or portal. There is much more flexibility in data gathering and generally more information available to the observer by using these links.)

Most of the material on this site is resourced from the following entities:

University of Arizona Atmospheric Sciences

ClearDarkSky.com

Kitt Peak Observatory

Fourmilab.ch

Heavens Above

University of Arizona Computer Sciences

Intellecast Weather

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