Sep 9, 2011

Smoke in the Desert

Some of you've seen me tweet or FB about the smoke out this way the past few weeks. There's a wildfire up at Warm Springs, a good 60 or more miles away, but the wind is just right to make it smokey all the way down here. Thank you, wind [that was facetious, in case you missed it].

So here's my Pine Mountain Observatory photo journal from last weekend. Clicking on any photo will enlarge the view.

Here's proof of the smoke. I took this photo last Friday at Pine Mountain Observatory.

So we begin our final month of the observatory season. Four more weeks to go then I get a little wiggle room ... maybe. Probably not as I push on with my epublishing endeavors.

Friday night was cold. I wasn't sorry I had dug all my thermals out and put them on. I was sorry I didn't opt for a sweater over a long sleeved shirt, and I really must invent knee warmers. Once my knees get cold, I'm done, done, done. Or I need to invent some sort of down igloo contraption that's wearable. Here's some moon shots I took Friday night.

The Moon is just to the right of that tallest tree

Had a lot of great visitors, as usual. One little guy on Saturday had a great imagination. He looked at the Moon through my telescope for a really long time and started having a conversation with the astronauts he imagined up there. Then he was telling me about the dinosaurs there, too. I was so amused and entertained, I asked him whether the dinosaurs had spaceships. To which he said, yes. We then had a very interesting conversation about spacefaring dinosaurs. Sparked a few story ideas for me. Thanks, cool little dude.

Here's photos of the Moon from Saturday.

And some of Jupiter. I learned that using a blue filter cuts the glare and lets the red stripes pop out. I'll play more with it next week, attempting to get better shots than this.

Without a filter - can see three of the Galilean moons -- Callisto, Ganymede & Europa

With the filter -- not as bright, but you can make out some of the red stripes

Here's some extra shots.

I found this shadow very interesting Saturday evening. There were no clouds, so it was the low sun and the contours of the mountain making that shape. Took this on Saturday. You can see there was a lot less smoke. Thank goodness. I'm getting tired of smelling burning trees.

These are highland cattle at a farm on the way out to PMO.

Ran into some deer. Baby. Center of photo.

Here's Momma below me, who was getting ready to kick my ass if I didn't get out from between her and baby.

There was a coyote in the middle of the road on my way home Saturday night. Had to make a screeching stop to miss him. It was pitch black, so no photo. No cougar spottings yet, but as one visitor put it, that doesn't mean they aren't watching me. It'd be very interesting if cougars had telescopes.

The Russians had trouble with their rockets last week, so the space station may be abandoned come November if they can't fix the problem. We grounded the shuttle, so no help from us. At least, there are still the spacefaring dinosaurs on the Moon.

In sci-fi TV news, I heard that Syfy already scrapped Blood & Chrome. So, there will be no BSG series this fall, except maybe on the internet. What has a girl got to do for some space opera? Sigh. Maybe an internet space opera channel is the way to go. And, Happy Star Trek Day, one day late. Sept 8, 1966: Star Trek premiered on television. TV boldly went where it had never gone before. What a legacy.

Have a great weekend.