i have one more night left on the top of mauna kea for this observing run with UKIRT, so i thought i'd share some photos from the week.
across the cinder cone valley from where our telescope is located, sits the suburu telescope (left), the kecks (center), then NASA's infrared telescope facility (IRTF):
on UKIRT's side of the cinder cone are (L to R) the canada france hawaii telescope (CFHT), the gemini-north observatory, and the university of hawaii's 88-inch telescope.
UKIRT pointing towards the zenith inside its dome:
UKIRT's 3.8 meter diameter primary mirror.
inside the control room.
a quirk of high altitude - inflated potato chip bags!
air pressure lowers as you go higher and higher in altitude. the pressure is still high inside the sealed bag, so the air inside pushes out as usual, but feels no resistance from the low-pressure air outside. so the bag puffs up! (this is also why its a good idea to put any bottled liquids in bags when flying!)
using the night vision goggles you can even more clearly see the gemini telescope's AO laser shooting up to the sky!
here's a view of the UKIRT telescope, the milky way galaxy (a bit saturated), and glowing lava!
i never get tired of the views of this 14000 ft mountain and its shadow in the distance.
and some fun with panoramas. the scope on the left is UKIRT.
lake waiau on mauna kea is the 7th highest lake in the US at 13000 ft. its a short, but exhausting walk from the summit to get there.
more photos here!