At least I get to work in some of the most gorgeous surroundings on earth, assuming you find bare lava rock beautiful! Mauna Kea in the late afternoon can be particularly striking with the low angle of illumination:
Or in the evening (different day):
Of course, the mountains aren't the only interesting things around! I took a panorama of the array of dishes while up on the telescope platform. You can see the cherry picker we're learning to drive in the background.
|The panorama distorts it, but these are arranged in a hexagon around the center one.|
Also, we finally opened the enclosure structure before dark, allowing me to pose in front of the telescope! This is the parked position; for actual operation those legs stretch up to at least twice as tall. I have a burning desire to get a video/timelapse of the process of opening the structure and engaging the telescope sometime, as it looks incredibly cool.
Finally, one thing I noticed in the Mauna Loa Observatories building the other day is this neat card autographed by quite a few of the original astronauts who came to train in 1965 (several of whom later went on to walk on the moon). It's quite cool to be walking in the footsteps of these historic figures!
Well, hopefully I'll be faster at getting another post out in the future, but seeing how it took a long Easter weekend for me to feel rested enough to write this, we'll see! Hopefully I'm starting to get acclimated to the altitude and long nights and will be better able to function like a normal person when I'm awake during the day.