A Starry Night at Kaʻohe

It was a busy night at Kaʻohe, with well in excess of the ten people we are allowed without a permit. I am quite glad I did stop in our local DOFAW office and get the needed permit.

A one day old crescent Moon set over Hualālai
A one day old crescent Moon set over Hualālai

After several weeks of storms the last week has been beautiful weather. A Saturday came I worried the spell of weather would not hold… It did.

As we see so often there was an overcast sky on the side of the mauna when we arrived, a layer of clouds that dissipated shortly after sunset leaving a perfect sky for the remainder of the night.

As we waited for the clouds to clear we set up gear, chatted, introduced folks that had not met, and watched a one day old crescent Moon set over Hualālai.

We had a bunch of Keck folks there, Josh and Harriet, John and Stephanie, Sky, Cliff, Andrew, Philip, and the whole crew Dave Kriege brought along

I brought out my 18″ Deep Violet for the night, best to enjoy a very dark sky and to hunt faint fuzzies in Monocerus and Orion.

My observing list for the night was a collection of objects between 6 and 7 hours right ascension and +10 to -10 declination. I printed out a list of objects I had never observed in the area using my ObsList tool. The area is in the winter Milky Way so this list is mostly open clusters and nebulae.

And observe we did… A great night. Clear and calm, a night for wandering amongst the galaxies.

NGC 2149 A small reflection nebula centered on a 12.7 magnitude star, about 2′ across, faint, fading evenly away from the star

Sh2-282 An extraordinary field, very rich galactic starfield with a couple obvious faint and very rich clusters (NGC2262 and Collinder 110) the area is rich in faint nebulae seen as dark and bright areas in the field

NGC 2143 Large 10′, coarse, fully resolved, a clump of brighter 9-11 magnitude stars in a right starfield, centered on a half dozen brighter members

Andrew Cooper, 26 Jan 2023

Just one of the idyllic nights Kaʻohe can supply for an amateur astronomer. I really need to get up here more often.

You cannot build TMT on conservation land?

The claim is often made that TMT cannot be built as the land its would be sited on is a designated resource conservation district. This is another claim is steadily repeated by telescope opponents on social media…

A group of puʻu on the NE flank of Mauna Kea
A group of puʻu on the NE flank of Mauna Kea

 ITS CONSERVATION LAND! What part of that is so hard to understand? no more damage to our mountain.. please!! auwē!

Lynne Ven in a Facebook post

The crux of the claim is that being conservation district means that the telescope cannot be built near the summit of Mauna Kea as it is conservation land, that somehow the land is completely protected.

This claim argument depends on ignorance of the laws surrounding conservation lands. To anyone not familiar with the state land system this might make sense, but it is just is not true.

Continue reading “You cannot build TMT on conservation land?”

Another Hop Across the Pond

Trips from the islands always start the same way, that little five hour hop across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast. Five hours of sitting a seat two sizes too small, of watching videos or playing games on the pad.

Moonrise over the Pacific on Alaska 879 from Kona to Seattle
Moonrise over the Pacific on Alaska 879 from Kona to Seattle

I peruse the offerings of the aircraft’s entertainment system, starting a movie I have not seen. I order a box of cheese, fruit, and crackers as the cart comes down the isle. I complete the usual rituals of flying.

As usual I had reserved a window seat. I enjoy the view, even if that view is endless clouds and ocean. The shade of blue of the tropical Pacific always amazes me. Under the scattered puffy clouds white specks of whitecaps on the water dot the sheet of blue.

Something about that endless seeming expanse triggers the imagination. I consider those who have travelled this way before… From Spanish galleons, whaling ships seeking fortunes, warships sailing to battle in WWII, the liners that sailed before the age of jet aircraft.

Considering those previous voyagers five hours in a seat seems trivial.

I will be voyaging myself soon enough, sitting at the helm of a 42′ cruiser for the seven hundred mile journey along the Inside Passage from Juneau to Bellingham. I expect to steer the boat around whales and icebergs. I expect to anchor in quite coves and to moor in busy fishing harbors.

I look forward to a few weeks of a different life, a life that progresses at eight knots. A far slower pace than the usual breakneck velocity of the modern world. I look forward to peaceful days of water, rain, and ocean swell.

Top posts of 2017

2017 was a good year for me personally. This is reflected in the blog, with an array of posts chronicling my life over the past year. The posts resulted in 60k visitors to the blog, and while that may be down from last year I will consider that an improvement given DarkerView was not hacked to serve porn this year.

It is interesting to check the most popular posts. These do not necessarily represent the top read posts for the year as most folks read the latest post on the home page. Rather the top posts are the ones that gather steady traffic from search results, people looking for information on the subject and finding it in the archive of back posts…

Post Hits
A Backyard Telescope Pier 3379
Tragedy on Mauna Kea 1980
Astrophotography with the EOS-M 1536
Repairing a Wii Balance Board 1529
Getting to the Lava (Revised) 1449
Starscape Photography 1436
Consequences of a Bad LED 1411
Rewiring a Celestron NexStar Telescope 809
Viewing the ISS 747
Visiting the Summit of Mauna Kea 656
Restoring an Orange Tube Celestron C8 622
Street Photography with the Canon EOS-M3 585
Fungus on Glass 575
Canon EOS-M3 Review 541
Shooting the Canon EOS M5 518

In the list only a few of the posts are from this year. Most represent popular posts from the past several years, posts that continue to be steadily popular. This is in many ways the measure of a good blog, people find the back archive of posts valuable, that Darker View represents good content.