Saturday, 15 August 2009

Lasing

My poor little camera is pretty hopeless when it's dark. I've managed to take some OK images when the moon is up and the night sky is bright (e.g., Gemini laser show) but when there's no moon or it's still low in the sky the images are so noisy and faint it's usually not worth the attempt. Despite that, I had a go last night and the image is OK, but I really had to clean it up and it makes for an odd looking photo. It's a picture of the Kecks "lasing".

I spoke to some of the Keck crew on the way up this evening and asked if they were going to be firing off their lasers again tonight, and they said yes, but, while giggling, told me that they don't fire their lasers, they "lase" or "they'll be doing some lasing tonight". Apparently it's bad form to use the word "firing" with "laser" as it scares people. Oh well, I'll try and remember to use "lasing" next time and when someone asks me what I'm talking about, I'll just say it means firing off a laser!

7 comments:

John said...

Very unique blog.
Fantastic pictures. Wow...

I like your blog.

Please visit:
http://paradise-adventure.blogspot.com

Keep blogging.
Have a great time.

Keera Ann Fox said...

So, how come you cropped out the great big fingers holding that red thread tight? ;-)

punagreek said...

Is there *any* noun that has been left un-verbed in the English Language?

John Powell said...

Is that a pollution layer or a photo anomaly?

damontucker said...

Can this laser ever be seen from like Pahoa High School on a clear night?

Is there a set schedule when this laser is blasted.

I want one!

Protege said...

I think this picture is great; it looks like a science fiction image actually.;)
Do people in fact get scared of the words "firing lasers"? How odd...

Tom said...

John - ta, but I'm not planning any Bali holidays in the near future. Thanks for the compliment though, I'm sure it was a sincere one...

Keera - I'm not at liberty to tell you what alien spaceship was at the wrong end of Keck firing off that laser, I mean lasing.

Punagreek - I had a long hard think about that and came up with the noun "verb". Oh, I'm going to have to think about this again...

John P. - It's real although a bit noisy! I'm pretty certain it's vog blown out to the west of the island by the trades. You can see the same thing at sunset when there aren't too many clouds. Usually it's capped at around 10,000 feet, in this case it might have been a tad higher as the inversion layer was much higher than normal thanks to Felicia.

Damon - no, you can't see the laser from down below, it's difficult enough to see when you're at the summit! It's only obvious when you take a long exposure photograph. You might be able to see the laser from sea level if you have some very expensive photography equipment(including one hell of a zoom lense), I'm not sure, but I suspect it would be very challenging. I might try it one day!

There is a schedule, I don't know if it's available to the public, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be. We get a notice about it because it can affect how other observatories operate. You could drop a line to Andrew asking if there's a publicly available schedule, not sure I would know where to look.

Protege - unfortunately it's an over-the-top PC world these days.

Tom