2012-07-26

I'm a grandfather - again! Also, Laramie day 3


I had to change this blog post in the middle of typing it out.  At 0740 Wyoming time (about) my third granddaughter entered this world.  I posted a picture on Twitter @author_farren.

Laramie day 4:  Up at 0530.  Room is very cool.  High today is only going to be 77 – nice.  Walked to the classroom early to get away from the sun that tends to blast on my computer in the morning as well as the constant drone of the fan.  Very nice walk.  Classroom is much quieter and cooler.  Mike Brotherton started the day with a lecture about Extra Solar Planets.  Geoffrey Landis (Mars rover team) then took over with a lecture on space habitats.  Lunch (pizza) was followed by a lecture on stars from Christian.  Next, we trucked over to another classroom where we played with images on a computer.  Went out with the group to an Indian restaurant called "Mellow Yellow".  The food was pretty good.  

The highlight of the day was a trip to the WIRO observatory which began a little after 8:00 pm.  The roads up the mountain were rough but were not quite as bad as we had been led to believe.  The view from the top was incredible.  I haven't seen that many stars since I was out to sea in the Navy.  Took a bunch of pictures and movies.  Mike brought his night vision goggles.  I've GOT to get me a pair of these!  We all took turns using them; looking at Andromeda, picking out Mizar and Alcor (binary star system), and looking at the bulge of the Milky Way.

Four grad students live at the telescope.  I felt sort of weird because we were all hanging out in their living room.  The telescope was a really cool piece of equipment.  The drive back down was no problem either.  We did surprise a deer on the road.  It was very confused looking back and forth between the sheer cliff on one side and the steep embankment on the other.  After a couple minutes of back and forth it finally ran up the embankment.  Arrived back at home base around midnight at which time I promptly went to sleep.