Yet more sunset shots from the summit; these were taken last Wednesday and Thursday. On the first night I was really hoping to see the green flash. It's an optical phenomenon that usually requires a clear horizon and although there were clouds the horizon was well defined (it's extremely rare not to have clouds stretching to the western horizon). As usual, I didn't see the green flash and I have yet to see one from the summit despite eighteen years of trying. I know several people who have seen one on their first trip to the summit. It's frustrating but I have seen the effect elsewhere (in the Australian outback of all places). The picture above shows the Subaru telescope and the sun just as it set. The camera was set to take continuous pictures but none of them showed anything green. Oh well, back to the drawing board. In the meantime, here are a few more sunset shots. I can't say by popular request but I like them!
Subaru and one of the twin Kecks on Thursday night. There were a few more high-level clouds around which usually makes the sunset more colourful although it also means we're in for a poor night of observing.
The IRTF to the right and one of the Kecks with Maui's Haleakala in the distance - a 10,000-foot dormant volcano. The sun had set by now and the cirrus clouds were very red.
The JCMT (lower-right) with the summit of the Hualalai volcano peeking through the low-level cumulus clouds in the distance.
OK, this one's a little overdone, it's an HDR image of Mauna Loa from the summit taken last Wednesday, but it does show how bad the vog was. It's very rare for vog to reach summit level but it was pretty obvious on the drive up and you can see the layers of the volcanic crud all the way up to Mauna Loa's summit. That mountain is almost the same height as Mauna Kea so the nasty stuff was way up in the atmosphere. I'll go back and work on this one when I have some time.
I'm back on the summit this weekend although I'm not sure if I'll have time for photos. I'm short of sunrise photos but to be honest, after a 15 to 16-hour work day and the circadian rhythm stressed to breaking point, I'm rarely in the right frame of mind at that time of day. It'll happen soon though...