Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Center

Jeeze, that's a mouthful. Still, the visitor center does wonderful stuff and I'd encourage anyone on the island to visit if they can, especially at sunset and afterwards when the volunteers will show you the night sky. Even during the day they have a telescope trained on the sun.

The picture was taken from the lava bomb field to the east just after sunset. The parking lot is full so cars are parked on the side of the summit access road. In the next hour the place will become even more crowded as the tour buses arrive from the summit and disgorge another couple of hundred visitors.

The night sky from this level is more spectacular than the summit unless you happen to be a piece of electronics. At 14,000 feet the night sky is wonderfully clear but your eyes don't work that well due to the lack of oxygen. At 9,000 feet though, your eyes work quite well and you're still high enough to get a remarkable view of the night sky away from the clouds down below and any light pollution from Hilo, Kona, Waimea or elsewhere.

For anyone interested in astronomy and also happens to be on the Big Island, you should make a visit to the visitor center a priority.

PS.

Sorry, should have given a link the place. It's http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/.

1 comment:

navychappy said...

Tom,

That is one hell of a photo...I like the way you caught the texture of the clouds and the way the light plays through the whole picture is awesome.

Terry