Our observatory is located in Santa Cristina, a small town in Val Gardena, right in the center of the Dolomites (UNESCO world heritage). The telescope is located at the Hotel Interski. Our skies are pretty transparent, even if sometimes we are struggling with some light pollution coming from the many accomodations lightning around their houses. Fortunately, during recent years the situation is improving, and in 2013 the anti-light-pollution rules of the European Union have been enforced to all public illumination. We actually have a light pollution sensor, whose readings you can check online.
Here you see the data from my cloud sensor. It is updated every 5 minutes. Basically, it works by using an infrared thermopile, thus reading the ambient temperature and comparing it to the temperature emitted from the sky overhead. If there are clouds, the sky temperature is clearly higher than with a clear sky, so we use this to determine if the sky is “clear enough” for observing. Sometimes it happens that the sky is detected cloudy, but it isn’t. Well, this happens… And here the image from our All Sky Camera:
Weather forecast for Santa Cristina, Val Gardena
Data from ScopeDome