I have a small amateur telescope, and would like to defeat the atmospheric seeing conditions as much as is possible.

Fortuitously, I happen to live fairly close to this lovely patch of bare elevated rock:Mt Cardigan

It's a granite peak about 3,155ft (960m) above sea level.

Would this peak be expected to have improved seeing, as compared to the seeing from an adjacent valley on the same night?

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, as does being farther away from city lights. $\endgroup$
    – iMerchant
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ Debatable; for example, if it's bare rock it will be hot, so on summer nights it may actually promote turbulence for several hours after sunset... Only way to be sure is spend a few night observing and see how it goes... $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


In terms of steadiness of the air and hence stability of the image (ie ability to see fine detail on planets or split close double stars), it could go either way, depending on the atmospheric conditions, including wind speed and direction, and the local topography.

In contrast, valleys can sometimes provide better seeing because they provide some protection from atmospheric conditions.

However, and all other things being equal, you will probably have a higher limiting magnitude (ie be able to see fainter objects) from the top of the mountain.


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