Midweek Stargazing!

Right! You probably don’t care about my free time travelling, and it’s a lot to write up. Have something else instead today.

Yesteraday, I filed a work permit in order to turn off the car park lights at night. At 10pm, Nutsinee and I returned to the site with her DSLR camera, a tripod, and a sheet of paper with all of the site light fuse locations. We spend half an hour running around in the dark, her in her Totoro blanket, me in shorts and a tshirt. We found the breakers in the LSB. Bam. We went into the staging building and found the brerakers in there. Bam We found the breaker in the car park. Kerchunk. Now only one set of lights were left on. We found the breaker in the OSB. Bam.

Ed, the operator du jour, whipped out the binoculars. Tonight, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all on display. He pointed me towards Jupiter and assured me that, if your hands are still enough, you can see some of the moons. Not with these eyes!

Then, Nutsinee and I headed to the roof! We headed out towards the Y arm, set up the tripod, and porgrammed her camera for 30 second exposures! While she was setting it up (her camera, her rules) I just lay back and looked up at the stars! It’s not often you get to be so remote.

I was surprised by how bright the various sources were around us. To the north, at the end of the X arm, was the Hanford site, with the vit plant and various other plants for controlling the hazards that lie there. To the south-west was Richland. That was bright and sprawling. LIGO sits on a little rise in the ground (as I discovered when I cycled here!) so even though it’s a long way away, much of Richland’s bright lights can be seen. Even to the south-east, beyond the Y arm  behind Rattlesnake Mountain lies Benton City. On a 30 second exposure, the glow from Benton City can be seen over the mountain.

After setting up, we left. I’ll put the pictures up here once Nutsi has finished vetting them! Until them, have the pictures from last night’s setting up!






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