Cloudy sky and no stars

I just don’t understand…

Is it so difficult to understand that if there were clouds, we are unable to see planets and stars in the sky? Even if we have a telescope?

The KL weather was very bad for the last month; it had been raining almost every night. If there was no rain, it was cloudy.

Last Friday, I was attending a star-party in a school in KL. As usual, it was cloudy. Once in a while, the clouds cleared a hole in the sky and we managed to have a glimpse of Saturn. But most of the time, the clouds covered everything.

Then came this typical conversation I had at almost all star-party:

“Why there is nothing to see?”
“Because it’s cloudy…”
“How come just now we can see, but now we can’t see?”
“Because just now the clouds cleared up a bit, but now the clouds covered the sky again…”
“How come cloudy we cannot see?”
“Because the clouds blocked the objects in the sky…”
“But you got telescope wat, should be able to see mah…’
“Telescope cannot see through the clouds…”
“Then your telescope in not a powerful one lor…”
“There is no telescope in the world that can see through clouds…”

Sometimes I have to keep on explaining and explaining to the same people that we cannot see anything in the sky if it is cloudy, not even the brightest one such as the Moon or the Sun. I don’t mind explaining but the problem is some just don’t believe me! They thought that our telescopes are lousy, cannot see anything… It is their responses and expressions that disappointed me so much… Come on, this is no technical topic, it is just common sense! How can you expect to see something when there is something else blocking your view???

The worst is that I’ve been approached by the person-in-charge (sometime is a teacher or a headmaster!) and sort of blame me that I “promise” them that they can see Saturn, and cloudy sky is just an excuse from my side. They cannot accept cloudy sky as the reason.

I think next time I have to specifically put a clause that states “We can observe these objects tonight but it is 100% subject to weather condition, no promise”. Do I really have to do that? Is it not understood that if it’s raining or cloudy means there will be no stars/planets visible?

Over the years, I had attended countless of star-parties and what troubled me so much is that this scenario keeps on popping up. I’m left to wonder why this is the case. Why some of the public can’t get the point that “cloudy sky cannot see stars/planets” and “telescopes cannot see through the clouds”. I can just only wonder… and hopefully with my limited efforts, I can make them understand.

This post is only talking about our general public as a whole, not at any specific individuals or groups.


~ by thChieh on April 27, 2008.

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