Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Shadow over Hilo

My last scheduled full night on the summit and the skies are clear, so no spectacular sunset shots to post, although I'm sure the tourists up here this evening watching the Mauna Kea sunset for the first time would argue about the level of spectacularness.

In the east though, away from the sun, the shadow of Mauna Kea was sharp and distinct and unusually the coastline was visible. There was a clear view of Hilo Bay (top right), Kaloli Point just to the right of Hilo Bay (KP is where I live) and then to the extreme top right that point of land, almost 50 miles away, is the eastern most point of Hawai'i, Cape Kumukahi. (Click on the picture for a larger version).

It seems my footwear also knows the schedule - my left steel-toed boot disintegrated shortly after sunset. Temporary repairs were made and I should probably stay away from high voltages for a while, but it's the end of the road for this pair...

It's another 6 hours or so before we leave at the end of the night. Right now we're collecting photons from some of the most distant galaxies in the universe - data that will go into the Ultra Deep Survey. In two or three hours we'll switch to observing much closer to home, clusters of pre-main sequence stars in our Galaxy. These are young, newly formed stars, adolescences you might call them, that are still to reach adulthood like our own sun.

Just another night on the mountain I guess.


gigihawaii said...

Gorgeous landscape!

Aloha from Honolulu.

boo said...

The shadow picture is a glorious juxtaposition of land and sea and sky! The color mix is beautiful: the bold contrast of the complementary colors of the shadow and skyglow is balanced by the subtle shading of the landscape and the sweep of cinders at the bottom grounds the whole thing. I just love it! (And the duct tape boot rescue makes me smile)

Mahalo again for sharing :-)

Tom said...

Gigi - and aloha from the Big Island! Most people watching the sunset from the summit tend to miss this view - they're all looking the other way!

Boo - such a wonderful comment, thank you so much!

And I'm going to see if I can rescue the boot with shoe goo for yard work - I don't think it'll ever set foot on Mauna Kea again!