Urban heat island effect on planetary observations
Posted By Dan Lamoreaux
I have always wondered what the urban heat island effect has on lunar and planetary observations. It is impossible to simultaneously compare the view I get from my driveway setup viewing planets to what it would be like if I were at my dark sky site some 30 miles away. Right after dark there is a lot of heat rising from the city, but I have never heard anyone speculate on its effect to the seeing conditions. Is it significant or inconsequential when added to the high level atmospheric turbulence that normally causes poor seeing conditions? Would the viewing be noticeably better at any given time outside the city? Light pollution is not a significant concern as Jupiter and the moon are plenty bright enough to overcome that. I am just trying to figure out if it is worth loading everything and getting out of town when clear sky clock says it is going to be a steady night for viewing. What does everyone think?