Monday, October 01, 2012

Photography Trip

From left to right: Liverpool Telescope, Isaac Newton Telescope, Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope,
William Hershel Telescope (with laser guide star) Swedish Solar Telescope, Dutch Open Telescope. At the front, MAGIC I.
The very bright star is actually Venus.
I got permission to take photographs of the observatory early this morning. I'd carefully planned it so that the full moon would be setting, illuminating the telescopes for me, and I hoped to get the last few photos I'd need for the guide book.

I phoned up last night, only to be told that the observatory was sitting inside a cloud.  (This doesn't happen often.) I was pretty depressed - obviously, there's a month until the next full moon, and I'd really hoped to finish the book by then.

I talked it over with Carlos, who was on night duty, and agreed that I'd set my alarm,  check the webcams at about 4;30 am, and then either drive up, or (more likely) go back to bed.

I didn't sleep too well, because my brain wouldn't stop trying to come up with a plan B. Predictably, I finally got to sleep just before the alarm went off.  So I dragged myself to look at the webcams...

... and they were full of stars.

So I drove up, and took my photos from the roof of the observatory's private hotel.  And I'm happy with the results.

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