Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Keck at Sunset

Keck at Sunset - M240 75 Summicron, ~f/5.6, 1/25s, ISO 200.
Being a space nerd, I couldn't come all the way to the Big Island and not visit the summit of Mauna Kea, so last night I went on a sunset and star gazing tour.  This is an image of the Keck Observatory which is made up of two, 10 meter telescopes.  The neat thing about the gigantic mirrors in these scopes is that each is made up of 36 hexagonal smaller mirrors which are controlled by actuators.  Using adaptive optics and a computer controlled system these mirrors all work together to form the larger optical surface.

The conditions for the tour was perfect, it was dry, calm and relatively warm making for a pleasant experience.  There was also a mini star party afterwards down near the visitor center (a mere 9300ft vs. the 13800ft at the summit).  The moon was out so the seeing was ok but not spectacular.
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