Tuesday, April 12, 2011

fires near mcdonald observatory

i studied for my PhD in austin, texas and spent several months at the mcdonald observatory in west texas. i saw many beautiful thunderstorms and even some smoke plumes during my observing stints, but never did a full-fledged wildfire threaten the safety of people nearby.

that all changed several days ago when a devastating wildfire blasted through the nearby town of ft. davis. the observatory shared this incredible photo:

shown is the 107-inch telescope, the one i've used for a cumulative 4 months or so, as viewed from the catwalk of the 82-inch telescope that was built in the 1930s!

as of now, the observatory is safe, but here is a link for info on the current texas wildfire situation. best wishes to all!

the NY Times posted an article with the images below included:


heroineworshipper said...

4 months is a lot of photons. The smoke will make it harder to observe.

Big Mark 243 said...

I hope that the damage to lives and property is not excessive... as to what is observable, hey, the wildfire is the consequence of existence... whether someone was there to 'observe' or not, the fire would still need to burn in the course of things... right..?