We had a field trip to WIRO (U of Wyoming Infrared Observatory), about 25 miles away from Laramie, up a steep and bumpy mountain road, and stayed out very late. The WIRO (2.3-meter) telescope is huge. HUGE! Like plane hanger huge. But it's only considered a medium-sized telescope.
They don't actually look through the telescope, but get the image via computer monitor. So we saw the ring nebula and galaxies and star clusters in pixeleted glory. Quite cool, but y'know, the best viewing for me was simply walking outside and looking up and seeing the Milky Way and the night sky in the unpolluted mountain air. The stars were so bright, so beautiful. Oooo.
I couldn't get the whole telescope in my frame. shaolingrrl provides a scale reference.
Mini WIRO model
ktempest crashed out on the WIRO living room couch. The observatory is like a comfy house inside complete with kitchen, shower, sleeping room, WIRO cat (a working feline; we even saw her hunt and kill a mouse), and VHS movies. There were a couple students there doing research, and I felt like we were invading their home.
Then there was the control room right off the living room (with the WIRO cat).
No title required!
We stopped at a little cowboy bar en route to WIRO to stretch our legs, and Alaya found a friendly rock to climb.
They loaded many goodies in the van, and we opened them up during our layover break. samhenderson and her hoard of cookies!
And some non-WIRO pix from Friday:
Josepha and Jerry: separated at birth?
Vonda crocheting yarn marine critters
Jerry and white board in our classroom
The very tame bunny hanging out by our apartment complex
A gorgeous old telescope in the university astronomy building.
Launch Pad Class of 2007!