Saturday, September 24, 2016

checked alignment (Blue Mountains)

Was winding down, in my cot, when I suddenly had the munchies. Headed up to the kitchen. It was quiet. Everyone was asleep except for Clayton.

I peaked out the back door to discover a sky full of stars! What?! It was very clear. But still in my PJs, having readied for bed, I struggled with the idea. Finally, I decided to suit up.

Before returning to the Tony Horvatin Observatory, I thought I'd check the sight lines, angles, etc. for the Milky Way over the road way. Walked down the driveway in the dark, taking in the northern sky.

I don't know why exactly but it still seems very strange to me to do this. I felt the same way when I set up the camera in the forest for the star trails. Is it because it's novel, that I've just never done this before, that I've always stayed on the grounds? I think that's part of it, there's a comfort factor. Is another part just the activity of walking around on roads and paths in complete darkness? It's not like I've never done that; while camping, I've often walked to and fro in the night. But this is different from that. Such a peculiar feeling. There's something primal in it.

At the foot of our driveway, I found that the Milky Way was almost perfectly lined up with the road. It would have lined up or converged maybe in 30 to 60 minutes. I think. Low clouds bloated the galaxy as it neared the western horizon. It was not exactly vertical either. I wondered if that was ever possible, mathematically, for this road. Still, I felt, overall, it should work.

Next clear night. Around 2:00 AM...

What surprised me was the light pollution. I could clearly see many lights from Thornbury. I didn't expect that. I crouched down. It helped. If the camera was mounted low, some of the bright lights would be occulted.

Lyra was falling. The Circlet was rising.

No comments: