Big Island Day 9

2014.05.28
Day One Hundred and Eighty Four. I'd been waiting to go up Mauna Kea and see the observatories ever since we landed. We know someone who knows someone who works there, so we were holding out for a tour, but that didn't pan out. Maybe next time. Still went up to catch the sunset and do some nighttime long exposure work. While it was absolutely perfect weather down on the beach, it was a bit chilly (mid 30's) on the peak, which is 13,796 ft up. As soon as the sun went down, they kicked us off the peak. It's like the scientists had work to do and tourists are notoriously bad about light control or something. While it would have been amazing to get a shot with the observatories and the Milky Way, the parking lot just down the mountain they sent us to was on the wrong side of the peak for such a shot to be possible. Oh well. I still managed a few nice shots from there. I was a bit disappointed however, about how low in the sky the Milky Way was. And, given how cold it was up there, nobody wanted to hang out for 4-6 hours so the it could spin into a better spot. After working through every angle I could manage and playing around with a super powerful flashlight, we headed back down to the visitor center where they had some telescopes set up for casual viewing. I got a couple more Milky Way shots and enjoyed looking through the telescopes. One day, after I hit the lotto, I'm buying a really big telescope and an attachment for my camera to do some serious deep space photography :)
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