Friday, 30 January 2009

The last night on the mountain for a while

If anyone was wondering I'm still alive although very busy but looking forward to a couple of months off the mountain. There's just a couple of hours to go tonight and then it's breakfast, a fitful sleep and back home for a day off - and back in the office on Sunday! Sigh. My vacation can't come soon enough.

Anyway, no time for any picture processing, these shots are essentially straight off the camera (and reduced in size), so hope to have some really nice pictures soon. I took a whole bunch of them!

Sunset on Wednesday evening. Unfortunately this was a frustrating night for us. The clouds eventually cleared but it was too humid to open the dome, so despite seeing stars overhead there was little we could do.

Tonight I finally managed to take a picture of Gemini firing off its laser! The sky was so dark that it was a struggle to expose enough to actually see the dome, but the laser is pretty obvious! That's the UH 88-inch observatory to the right.

Finally, it was such a wonderfully dark night the Milky Way was obvious without much dark adaption at all, so I took a few photos that I'll work on in the next few days to see if I can get something nice to post. In any case, the Milky Way over Mauna Loa.

Unfortunately I missed taking a photo of the stunning view of the moon and Venus setting tonight. The thin crescent moon was a deep red and Venus a noticeable orange as they sank behind the clouds in the Pacific.


Zuzana said...

Tom, I LOVE those pictures; I can almost say they are one of the best ones you have posted!
The sunset is amazing and the laser shooting incredibly cool.

I have not been able to gaze upon the sky and see Milky Way since about 12 years ago, on vacation in south Texas. I am not sure actually if it is possible to see it anywhere in the world? I have never seen it in Europe, perhaps as the city lights are always interfering.

Hope you will have a good weekend.;)

Diane said...

Beautiful pictures :). Enjoy your day off and keep looking toward that vacation...

Beep said...

These are so beautiful that I have to keep reminding myself they are real :)

Tom said...

All - thanks for the comments, really appreciated. Once the current upload finishes (on a dialup of course) you might prefer the latest pictures.

Getting to see the Milky Way is becoming harder and harder. You have to be in a remote place without city lights nearby - and then hope the sky is actually dark (the moon can really screw this up). Mountain ranges work so does being on an island in the middle of a huge ocean!