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Observatories, Observed

Somewhere high over the Big Island loom two huge shield volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. We didn't see them much while we were there, though we could feel their effects every time the warm rain fell. They're cloud busters, sweeping moisture from the tradewinds. But high above, on the peaks, the air is clear and dry.

That's why Mauna Kea is home to a large collection of telescopes, run by teams of scientists from all over the world. They sit there, high above the island, white domes in the mountain stillness.

Driving from Waimea to the Kona coast we crossed the high plains at the north of the island, home to massive cattle ranches. Suddenly there was a gap in the clouds, and we could see the observatories there, haloed in a patch of blue. I pulled over to the side of the road and cranked up the zoom.

Observatories, observed

Observatories, observed

Mauna Kea, Hawaii
June 2009


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 6th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
Nice picture and a shame you couldn't go up the mountain. Next time you're there let me know and I can put you in touch with some of the PR people if you want.
Jul. 7th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
That's VERY cool
That's a really lovely picture. Thanks for sharing -- I love the observatory as a hole in the cloud bit.
Jul. 7th, 2009 06:56 am (UTC)
Thought on seeing the first picture.
"Hey, it's Laputa!"
Jul. 7th, 2009 10:01 am (UTC)
You mean that's not a flying saucer?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )