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Showing posts from October, 2005

Touring observatories as an extreme sport

Here in Hawaii, the University's Institute for Astronomy frequently hosts visiting astronomers from abroad. One of our postdoctoral researchers hails from eastern Europe.   She had some observing time on the summit of Mauna Kea this week, and was joined by her father, who had come over as a visiting scholar and to see her complete the Ironman Triathlon last weekend.He's a retired professor, researcher, member of their nation's national Academy of Sciences and their national committee for the International Astronomical Union, et cetera. He even has a minor planet named after him.

They had a full night of observing time Wednesday, a half-night Thursday, another full night Friday, and another half-night Saturday. For the last three nights of their run (Thursday-Saturday), I was their telescope operator. My colleague and I had discussed ahead of time the idea of seeing if her father could visit some of the other observatories on the mountain - it's not uncommo…

Just some old castle

The weather over England wasn't too bad on Saturday, so I took a few shots out the window of the 747 as it climbed westward from Heathrow. I noticed a nifty old castle by a little town, and didn't give it much thought, but tonight I realized I could probably use the satellite photo view on Google Maps to find the castle and maybe figure out which one it was.

That, of course, worked just fine, and it turned out it was one I'd heard of before. Windsor Castle. I wasn't expecting that.