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#807598 - 02/23/13 08:45 AM Astronomers on the Mountain Tops
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Registered: 05/01/10
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Loc: United Kingdom

Big telescopes on high mountains, drawing astronomers to some exotic-sounding places. Is it as glamorous as it sounds? Not really, says one astronomer who describes some of the symptoms people suffer at high altitudes.

Astronomers on the Mountain Tops
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#807929 - 02/25/13 09:55 AM Mauna Kea is taller than Everest [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Elephant

Registered: 05/01/10
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Everybody "knows" that Everest is the world's highest mountain at 8,848m (29,029 ft). Yes, it's altitude above sea level is. But Mauna Kea rises from the ocean floor. If you count its whole height, not just the height above sea level, it is 10,211m high (33,500)
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#808011 - 02/26/13 04:30 AM Re: Astronomers on the Mountain Tops [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Elephant

Registered: 05/01/10
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Astronomers on the Mountain Tops is about the Celeste spectrometer team on Mauna Kea. Another group of astronomers who took an infrared spectrometer to Mauna Key made a little video called Hotel Mauna Kea which is a parody of the song "Hotel California."

You can see the cryogen needed to cool the instrument, snow on the summit road and people on the summit with the clouds in the background below them. The lyrics mention sleep deprivation, "no air to breathe" and altitude headache.

But the "Summit out of reach / Can't do our science / Let's go to the beach." is probably just wishful thinking.
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#808472 - 02/27/13 10:24 AM UKIRT by moonlight [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Elephant

Registered: 05/01/10
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I came across a splendid photo that was taken while the Celeste team was actually at the UK Infrared Telescope doing the observations of Saturn. UKIRT by moonlight

Usually, the UKIRT is operated remotely and the photographer was there to get it back to remote operation.


Edited by Mona - Astronomy (03/01/13 08:43 PM)
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#841817 - 10/09/13 10:34 PM Re: Astronomers on the Mountain Tops [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Elephant

Registered: 05/01/10
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Here is a timelapse put together by astronomy student Sean Goebel over a number of observing nights earlier this year. Beautiful skies, of course. You may be surprised to see that there are so many telescopes at the site. And you can't help but notice the lasers in operation at some of the telescopes - this is part of the adaptive optics system which smoothes out a lot of the distortion that the atmosphere causes to the image.

Mauna Kea Heavens timelapse
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