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Astronomers on the Mountain Tops #807598
02/23/13 04:45 PM
02/23/13 04:45 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Chimpanzee
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
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


Mona Evans
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Mauna Kea is taller than Everest [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #807929
02/25/13 05:55 PM
02/25/13 05:55 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Chimpanzee
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
United Kingdom
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)


Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomers on the Mountain Tops [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #808011
02/26/13 12:30 PM
02/26/13 12:30 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Chimpanzee
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
United Kingdom
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.


Mona Evans
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UKIRT by moonlight [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #808472
02/27/13 06:24 PM
02/27/13 06:24 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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Chimpanzee
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
United Kingdom
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.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 03/02/13 04:43 AM.

Mona Evans
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Re: Astronomers on the Mountain Tops [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #841817
10/10/13 05:34 AM
10/10/13 05:34 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
BellaOnline Editor
Chimpanzee
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,155
United Kingdom
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


Mona Evans
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