A dark moon weekend? I had not been out in a while, time for some dark skies with a telescope. This night had been scheduled for a while, the folks I work with keep asking me about getting a look through one of my big ‘scopes. Thus this night had been set aside on a calendar normally used for staff meetings and investor conference calls.
Where? Kaʻohe of course, the best place for this on the west side, easy range for my friends coming up from Kona.
Everone arrived on schedule at sunset, car pooling up from Kona. Greeted by a spectacular sky, a slim crescent Moon seeting into the golden glow of Hualalai, the bright planets Venus and Jupiter appearing in the gloaming.Continue reading “A Bright Night at Kaʻohe”
The snow from this weekend was still visible this morning, but was gone by late afternoon when we were coming down, at least from the south face. The air was very clear all day, details often lost in the haze standing out clearly.
Even more dramatic when the late afternoon light emphasized the rugged terrain. Even those of us who have seen it so many times had to stop for the photo.
Two missions up into the saddle this week to go comet watching. Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE is rising in the northeast, blocked from view at home by the mauna, need to drive up to where I can see it.
With the comet as an excuse to get out well before dawn I may as well add a few secondary missions to the plan…
Make sure the drone batteries are charged for a few flights to photograph the saddle scenery at sunrise. The lava fields are spectacular at sunrise, one of my favorite places on the island.
The next mission is to photograph pueo along old Saddle Road. I tried two times, both times not a single bird to be seen. Where are the owls?
In any case a couple memorable trips into the dawn.
Governor Ige signed the new public access rules, drones would be illegal on the summit in ten more days.
With a deadline looming much sooner than I had contemplated there was a narrow window of opportunity. While I had wanted to fly the summit for a long time, I now had a few short days in which to do so. On January 23, 2020 the new rules would take effect.
The Office of Mauna Kea Management has attempted to restrict drone use on the summit by posting signs that drones are not allowed. Problem, they did this with no legal authority to do so. In conversations with OMKM staff I had pointed this out and received a quiet admission that it was true.
The new public access rules would change this… Flying a drone would be specifically prohibited on the science reserve, a civil offence with steep fines involved. With the governor’s signature those rules would be in force.Continue reading “Flying the Summit”