Friday, 1 May 2015

Mauna Kea Observatory

As we continued down the mountain road we passed the turn off which led to the Mauna Lea Observatory Visitor Centre.  Paul overrode my food, no warm clothing, etc...and made the turn.  The road climbed to 9,200 feet above sea level and ended at the visitor centre and above the clouds.   We put on every stitch of clothing we had to keep warm in plumetting temperatures  and as it was close to sunset, we climbed to the highest point we could and watched the sun go down and the stars come out.  It was so incredible to see the sunset from above the clouds which filled part of the valley below. 

As night fell, staff from the visitor centre brought out telescopes and trained them on various planets and other objects visible despite the nearly full moon.  It was the first time I had seen the big dipper since we had crossed the equator a week before.  Also, the constellation Orion was back in its Northern hemisphere configuration.  Thanks to Paul's perserverance we had a magical night as an end to a most pleasant day.

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