Monday, 12 January 2009

The night shift

Working at 14,000 feet has some funny effects, not least is understanding simple English. So, when I got an email last Thursday evening saying that the Subaru telescope would be firing off their lasers during the second half of the night, I got my camera and a tripod together and set it out at midnight ready for the show.

I thought I'd try and out-do Ant's laser show, but after freezing my butt off and seeing no lasers, I went back inside wondering if there was a way for us to check when Subaru would be firing the lasers. There's always been a language barrier between most of the observatories and Subaru (they're Japanese) so wasn't looking forward to this.

So I came back into the warm control room moaning like hell only to be told that the email said the lasers would be fired on Thursday and Friday 15/16th Jan. I had missed that last little detail out in my excitement - the show was a week away.

Oh well, at least I now know that 1) I can actually take night shots with my camera and 2) there's a tripod handy at the summit so I don't need to take my own next time.

I'm back at the summit this coming Thursday, so maybe I can out-do Ant after all! In the meantime, just to show that we do actually work at the summit during the night, I took a couple of "practise" shots. These were taken at 1-am on a very cold Friday morning with a nearly full moon.

Left to right: A lot of ice and snow, Subaru and the twin Kecks.

Right to left: The UH 88-inch (badly in need of a paint job), Gemini and the CFHT. You have to look carefully to see the latter! I think the UH dome looks fuzzy because they moved it during the exposure. Thoughtless bastards....


Hilary said...

Very cool shots for that self-imposed trial run. I'm looking forward to next week's photos.

Diane said...

I'm still trying to wrap my head around snow in Hawaii. I'm slow... sue me.