Starfest? Not tonight, anyway

It’s Starfest time, but I’m not there – I expect to go tomorrow, Saturday, but then again, I expected to go on Wednesday. I’ve been watching the Clear Dark Sky forecasts for the site as well as the weather forecasts for nearby Mount Forest, and with poor skies predicted together with Tornado Watches, I haven’t felt it was worth heading out. Friday night was predicted to be good after midnight, but I spent most of the day feeling slightly queasy, so I passed on that also. Instead I stayed up late here at the house, and stepped outside a few minutes ago to check on things.

It’s about as dark as it gets here in suburban Woodbridge – my dark sky meter reads 18.03, which is just about as dark as I have seen here (Bortle 8 or 9). Jupiter is climbing up in the southwest, and the air seems steady, with no noticeable shimmy or flicker. The trouble is, I can see Jupiter, but only three or four other stars – transparency seems to be much worse than usual, which is disappointing since the prediction was for average transparency at worst, improving to better than average towards the early morning hours.