Astronomy in the Islands


Roland Christen
 

Hi Astronuts,

I haven't been as active on the groups because Marj and I took a short vacation to Hawaii Island just over a week ago. I will be back in the office early next week.

For those who have not visited Hawaii, there is much to see besides the clear dark skies. But if you're into astronomy, it's a great place to get re-acquainted with the night sky if you come from a light polluted city like I do. The Big Island of Hawaii is the least light polluted of the 5 major islands. At our location at 560 ft above the ocean on the side of Kohala Mountain we get over 300 clear nights per year, and it is so dark that you cannot see your hand in front of your face at night.

This evening, after enjoying a fabulous meal at Tommy Bahama's with friends of ours, we drove home to a beautiful sunset with sky colors ranging from dark red at the ocean horizon thru green to violet above. Sunsets last only a short time here in the tropics, and even while the western horizon was still glowing deep red, the Milky Way was already rising above Kohala Mountain. The air felt like velvet with a soft breeze coming down the mountain. The 4 day Moon followed Venus toward the ocean horizon, their light reflecting off the water, surrounded by stars in the deep twilight.

In the East above the mountain, the Summer Milky Way arched across the sky from far north to where it disappeared behind Hualalai mountain to the south of us. For me it was an opportunity to re-connect with some of my favorite deep sky objects along the southern Milky Way. I took my 92mm Stowaway out, popped it onto my old Televue Gibraltar mount and cruised the southern portion from Sagittarius thru Scorpius to Ara and Norma all the way down to Crux. Armed with my widefield 32mm eyepiece, M16, M17, Trifid and Lagoon all glowed brightly in that tiny aperture. The great globulars in the Teapot very nicely resolved with my 3.5mm Baader Hyperion ocular. Then an old friend that I have not seen for many years, the gorgeous Butterfly Nebula in Scorpius, as magnificent as I remember it before light pollution dimmed it away in my Illinois home. Onward and southward we wandered, my little Stowaway and me, checking out all the bright knots and star clusters along the way until I glimpsed the Pearl Cluster in Crux, just before it sank into the ocean in the south-west. By 10:30pm the Milky Way was literally blazing above, something I had not seen since attending the Texas Star Party near Big Bend National Park some 40 years ago.

Yes, it's darker on Mauna Kea at the 9000ft Visitor Center, and darker still at 11,000ft at the Hawaiian observatory site on Mauna Loa (and bitter cold), but here on the side of Kohala mountain it's balmy and there's a pineapple drink nearby.

See you all in a week,
Rolando

Moonset over the Pacific:



MilkyWay over Kohala Mountain:


Roland Christen
 

Forgot to include:

The images were shot this evening on our driveway and lanai with my little Sony NEX7 and an inexpensive 12mm wide angle Rokinon lens. Single exposure of 30 seconds at F2.8 for the Milky Way, 8 seconds for the Moonset image.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>; main@ap-ug.groups.io <main@ap-ug.groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Jul 14, 2021 3:44 am
Subject: [ap-ug] Astronomy in the Islands

Hi Astronuts,

I haven't been as active on the groups because Marj and I took a short vacation to Hawaii Island just over a week ago. I will be back in the office early next week.

For those who have not visited Hawaii, there is much to see besides the clear dark skies. But if you're into astronomy, it's a great place to get re-acquainted with the night sky if you come from a light polluted city like I do. The Big Island of Hawaii is the least light polluted of the 5 major islands. At our location at 560 ft above the ocean on the side of Kohala Mountain we get over 300 clear nights per year, and it is so dark that you cannot see your hand in front of your face at night.

This evening, after enjoying a fabulous meal at Tommy Bahama's with friends of ours, we drove home to a beautiful sunset with sky colors ranging from dark red at the ocean horizon thru green to violet above. Sunsets last only a short time here in the tropics, and even while the western horizon was still glowing deep red, the Milky Way was already rising above Kohala Mountain. The air felt like velvet with a soft breeze coming down the mountain. The 4 day Moon followed Venus toward the ocean horizon, their light reflecting off the water, surrounded by stars in the deep twilight.

In the East above the mountain, the Summer Milky Way arched across the sky from far north to where it disappeared behind Hualalai mountain to the south of us. For me it was an opportunity to re-connect with some of my favorite deep sky objects along the southern Milky Way. I took my 92mm Stowaway out, popped it onto my old Televue Gibraltar mount and cruised the southern portion from Sagittarius thru Scorpius to Ara and Norma all the way down to Crux. Armed with my widefield 32mm eyepiece, M16, M17, Trifid and Lagoon all glowed brightly in that tiny aperture. The great globulars in the Teapot very nicely resolved with my 3.5mm Baader Hyperion ocular. Then an old friend that I have not seen for many years, the gorgeous Butterfly Nebula in Scorpius, as magnificent as I remember it before light pollution dimmed it away in my Illinois home. Onward and southward we wandered, my little Stowaway and me, checking out all the bright knots and star clusters along the way until I glimpsed the Pearl Cluster in Crux, just before it sank into the ocean in the south-west. By 10:30pm the Milky Way was literally blazing above, something I had not seen since attending the Texas Star Party near Big Bend National Park some 40 years ago.

Yes, it's darker on Mauna Kea at the 9000ft Visitor Center, and darker still at 11,000ft at the Hawaiian observatory site on Mauna Loa (and bitter cold), but here on the side of Kohala mountain it's balmy and there's a pineapple drink nearby.

See you all in a week,
Rolando

Moonset over the Pacific:



MilkyWay over Kohala Mountain:


Harley Davidson
 

Beautiful images Roland.

tony

On 7/14/2021 4:44 AM, Roland Christen via groups.io wrote:
Hi Astronuts,

I haven't been as active on the groups because Marj and I took a short vacation to Hawaii Island just over a week ago. I will be back in the office early next week.

For those who have not visited Hawaii, there is much to see besides the clear dark skies. But if you're into astronomy, it's a great place to get re-acquainted with the night sky if you come from a light polluted city like I do. The Big Island of Hawaii is the least light polluted of the 5 major islands. At our location at 560 ft above the ocean on the side of Kohala Mountain we get over 300 clear nights per year, and it is so dark that you cannot see your hand in front of your face at night.

This evening, after enjoying a fabulous meal at Tommy Bahama's with friends of ours, we drove home to a beautiful sunset with sky colors ranging from dark red at the ocean horizon thru green to violet above. Sunsets last only a short time here in the tropics, and even while the western horizon was still glowing deep red, the Milky Way was already rising above Kohala Mountain. The air felt like velvet with a soft breeze coming down the mountain. The 4 day Moon followed Venus toward the ocean horizon, their light reflecting off the water, surrounded by stars in the deep twilight.

In the East above the mountain, the Summer Milky Way arched across the sky from far north to where it disappeared behind Hualalai mountain to the south of us. For me it was an opportunity to re-connect with some of my favorite deep sky objects along the southern Milky Way. I took my 92mm Stowaway out, popped it onto my old Televue Gibraltar mount and cruised the southern portion from Sagittarius thru Scorpius to Ara and Norma all the way down to Crux. Armed with my widefield 32mm eyepiece, M16, M17, Trifid and Lagoon all glowed brightly in that tiny aperture. The great globulars in the Teapot very nicely resolved with my 3.5mm Baader Hyperion ocular. Then an old friend that I have not seen for many years, the gorgeous Butterfly Nebula in Scorpius, as magnificent as I remember it before light pollution dimmed it away in my Illinois home. Onward and southward we wandered, my little Stowaway and me, checking out all the bright knots and star clusters along the way until I glimpsed the Pearl Cluster in Crux, just before it sank into the ocean in the south-west. By 10:30pm the Milky Way was literally blazing above, something I had not seen since attending the Texas Star Party near Big Bend National Park some 40 years ago.

Yes, it's darker on Mauna Kea at the 9000ft Visitor Center, and darker still at 11,000ft at the Hawaiian observatory site on Mauna Loa (and bitter cold), but here on the side of Kohala mountain it's balmy and there's a pineapple drink nearby.

See you all in a week,
Rolando

Moonset over the Pacific:




MilkyWay over Kohala Mountain:



Shawn Quinn
 

Rolando,

Thanks for the Hawaiian update!  The night skies there are magnificent!

Shawn


R Botero
 

Simply fantastic!  Enjoy your deserved break.  I'm green with envy even though it's sunny and warm here in the UK.

Roberto


thefamily90 Phillips
 

Wow! Sounds fantastic! A well deserved vacation in Paradise.

JimP 

On Wed, Jul 14, 2021 at 9:22 AM R Botero via groups.io <rbotero@...> wrote:
Simply fantastic!  Enjoy your deserved break.  I'm green with envy even though it's sunny and warm here in the UK.

Roberto

--
Jim Phillips


steven ho
 

So beautiful, Paradise. Thanks for sharing your images. 

Steve


Alan Friedman
 

Wonderful writing Rolando, thank you for taking us along and sharing that wide field Milky Way… so detailed and full of contrast. We’ve been traveling as well to a New Hampshire destination that we’ve visited each summer for thirty years - except for last year. It has been cloudy, rainy and stormy in the northeast. I had both the Stowaway and Traveler with me, which I love to mount tandem on my Discmount for stargazing with a crew of young folks who hang out with me after everyone else turns in. These kids are now mostly 30 and older but they still have an appetite for our tradition. I am gratified that each of them took astronomy their freshman year in college. This year there were no good nights to set up the scopes - a shame since our visit coincided with the dark of the moon. On one night I walked down to our traditional observatory on the first tee of the golf course with a tripod and camera. I snapped a few 15 and 20 second shots with a 14mm lens. The region has more skyglow now than it did years ago and the clouds didn’t help much either, though they did add a little to the composition. Your shot makes me realize what we miss in our neck of the woods. 



The one exciting development was a member of the next generation of astronomers who joined us this year. His name is Ezra. His Mom was one on our first visit here 30 years ago. 







On Jul 14, 2021, at 4:44 AM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:

Hi Astronuts,

I haven't been as active on the groups because Marj and I took a short vacation to Hawaii Island just over a week ago. I will be back in the office early next week.

For those who have not visited Hawaii, there is much to see besides the clear dark skies. But if you're into astronomy, it's a great place to get re-acquainted with the night sky if you come from a light polluted city like I do. The Big Island of Hawaii is the least light polluted of the 5 major islands. At our location at 560 ft above the ocean on the side of Kohala Mountain we get over 300 clear nights per year, and it is so dark that you cannot see your hand in front of your face at night.

This evening, after enjoying a fabulous meal at Tommy Bahama's with friends of ours, we drove home to a beautiful sunset with sky colors ranging from dark red at the ocean horizon thru green to violet above. Sunsets last only a short time here in the tropics, and even while the western horizon was still glowing deep red, the Milky Way was already rising above Kohala Mountain. The air felt like velvet with a soft breeze coming down the mountain. The 4 day Moon followed Venus toward the ocean horizon, their light reflecting off the water, surrounded by stars in the deep twilight.

In the East above the mountain, the Summer Milky Way arched across the sky from far north to where it disappeared behind Hualalai mountain to the south of us. For me it was an opportunity to re-connect with some of my favorite deep sky objects along the southern Milky Way. I took my 92mm Stowaway out, popped it onto my old Televue Gibraltar mount and cruised the southern portion from Sagittarius thru Scorpius to Ara and Norma all the way down to Crux. Armed with my widefield 32mm eyepiece, M16, M17, Trifid and Lagoon all glowed brightly in that tiny aperture. The great globulars in the Teapot very nicely resolved with my 3.5mm Baader Hyperion ocular. Then an old friend that I have not seen for many years, the gorgeous Butterfly Nebula in Scorpius, as magnificent as I remember it before light pollution dimmed it away in my Illinois home. Onward and southward we wandered, my little Stowaway and me, checking out all the bright knots and star clusters along the way until I glimpsed the Pearl Cluster in Crux, just before it sank into the ocean in the south-west. By 10:30pm the Milky Way was literally blazing above, something I had not seen since attending the Texas Star Party near Big Bend National Park some 40 years ago.

Yes, it's darker on Mauna Kea at the 9000ft Visitor Center, and darker still at 11,000ft at the Hawaiian observatory site on Mauna Loa (and bitter cold), but here on the side of Kohala mountain it's balmy and there's a pineapple drink nearby.

See you all in a week,
Rolando

Moonset over the Pacific:
<dummyfile.0.part>



MilkyWay over Kohala Mountain:
<dummyfile.1.part>


Roland Christen
 

Nice to hear from you, Alan. That little guy is so cute!
 Your shots are great. Some day I will have to get a real camera and a good lens.

Rolando

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Friedman <alan@...>
To: main@ap-ug.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Jul 14, 2021 1:34 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-ug] Astronomy in the Islands

Wonderful writing Rolando, thank you for taking us along and sharing that wide field Milky Way… so detailed and full of contrast. We’ve been traveling as well to a New Hampshire destination that we’ve visited each summer for thirty years - except for last year. It has been cloudy, rainy and stormy in the northeast. I had both the Stowaway and Traveler with me, which I love to mount tandem on my Discmount for stargazing with a crew of young folks who hang out with me after everyone else turns in. These kids are now mostly 30 and older but they still have an appetite for our tradition. I am gratified that each of them took astronomy their freshman year in college. This year there were no good nights to set up the scopes - a shame since our visit coincided with the dark of the moon. On one night I walked down to our traditional observatory on the first tee of the golf course with a tripod and camera. I snapped a few 15 and 20 second shots with a 14mm lens. The region has more skyglow now than it did years ago and the clouds didn’t help much either, though they did add a little to the composition. Your shot makes me realize what we miss in our neck of the woods. 



The one exciting development was a member of the next generation of astronomers who joined us this year. His name is Ezra. His Mom was one on our first visit here 30 years ago. 







On Jul 14, 2021, at 4:44 AM, Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:

Hi Astronuts,

I haven't been as active on the groups because Marj and I took a short vacation to Hawaii Island just over a week ago. I will be back in the office early next week.

For those who have not visited Hawaii, there is much to see besides the clear dark skies. But if you're into astronomy, it's a great place to get re-acquainted with the night sky if you come from a light polluted city like I do. The Big Island of Hawaii is the least light polluted of the 5 major islands. At our location at 560 ft above the ocean on the side of Kohala Mountain we get over 300 clear nights per year, and it is so dark that you cannot see your hand in front of your face at night.

This evening, after enjoying a fabulous meal at Tommy Bahama's with friends of ours, we drove home to a beautiful sunset with sky colors ranging from dark red at the ocean horizon thru green to violet above. Sunsets last only a short time here in the tropics, and even while the western horizon was still glowing deep red, the Milky Way was already rising above Kohala Mountain. The air felt like velvet with a soft breeze coming down the mountain. The 4 day Moon followed Venus toward the ocean horizon, their light reflecting off the water, surrounded by stars in the deep twilight.

In the East above the mountain, the Summer Milky Way arched across the sky from far north to where it disappeared behind Hualalai mountain to the south of us. For me it was an opportunity to re-connect with some of my favorite deep sky objects along the southern Milky Way. I took my 92mm Stowaway out, popped it onto my old Televue Gibraltar mount and cruised the southern portion from Sagittarius thru Scorpius to Ara and Norma all the way down to Crux. Armed with my widefield 32mm eyepiece, M16, M17, Trifid and Lagoon all glowed brightly in that tiny aperture. The great globulars in the Teapot very nicely resolved with my 3.5mm Baader Hyperion ocular. Then an old friend that I have not seen for many years, the gorgeous Butterfly Nebula in Scorpius, as magnificent as I remember it before light pollution dimmed it away in my Illinois home. Onward and southward we wandered, my little Stowaway and me, checking out all the bright knots and star clusters along the way until I glimpsed the Pearl Cluster in Crux, just before it sank into the ocean in the south-west. By 10:30pm the Milky Way was literally blazing above, something I had not seen since attending the Texas Star Party near Big Bend National Park some 40 years ago.

Yes, it's darker on Mauna Kea at the 9000ft Visitor Center, and darker still at 11,000ft at the Hawaiian observatory site on Mauna Loa (and bitter cold), but here on the side of Kohala mountain it's balmy and there's a pineapple drink nearby.

See you all in a week,
Rolando

Moonset over the Pacific:
<dummyfile.0.part>



MilkyWay over Kohala Mountain:
<dummyfile.1.part>


ROBERT WYNNE
 

Sounds like a "no ka oi" vacation. -Best, Robert

On 07/14/2021 1:44 AM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011@...> wrote:
 
 
Hi Astronuts,
 
I haven't been as active on the groups because Marj and I took a short vacation to Hawaii Island just over a week ago. I will be back in the office early next week.
 
For those who have not visited Hawaii, there is much to see besides the clear dark skies. But if you're into astronomy, it's a great place to get re-acquainted with the night sky if you come from a light polluted city like I do. The Big Island of Hawaii is the least light polluted of the 5 major islands. At our location at 560 ft above the ocean on the side of Kohala Mountain we get over 300 clear nights per year, and it is so dark that you cannot see your hand in front of your face at night.
 
This evening, after enjoying a fabulous meal at Tommy Bahama's with friends of ours, we drove home to a beautiful sunset with sky colors ranging from dark red at the ocean horizon thru green to violet above. Sunsets last only a short time here in the tropics, and even while the western horizon was still glowing deep red, the Milky Way was already rising above Kohala Mountain. The air felt like velvet with a soft breeze coming down the mountain. The 4 day Moon followed Venus toward the ocean horizon, their light reflecting off the water, surrounded by stars in the deep twilight.
 
In the East above the mountain, the Summer Milky Way arched across the sky from far north to where it disappeared behind Hualalai mountain to the south of us. For me it was an opportunity to re-connect with some of my favorite deep sky objects along the southern Milky Way. I took my 92mm Stowaway out, popped it onto my old Televue Gibraltar mount and cruised the southern portion from Sagittarius thru Scorpius to Ara and Norma all the way down to Crux. Armed with my widefield 32mm eyepiece, M16, M17, Trifid and Lagoon all glowed brightly in that tiny aperture. The great globulars in the Teapot very nicely resolved with my 3.5mm Baader Hyperion ocular. Then an old friend that I have not seen for many years, the gorgeous Butterfly Nebula in Scorpius, as magnificent as I remember it before light pollution dimmed it away in my Illinois home. Onward and southward we wandered, my little Stowaway and me, checking out all the bright knots and star clusters along the way until I glimpsed the Pearl Cluster in Crux, just before it sank into the ocean in the south-west. By 10:30pm the Milky Way was literally blazing above, something I had not seen since attending the Texas Star Party near Big Bend National Park some 40 years ago.
 
Yes, it's darker on Mauna Kea at the 9000ft Visitor Center, and darker still at 11,000ft at the Hawaiian observatory site on Mauna Loa (and bitter cold), but here on the side of Kohala mountain it's balmy and there's a pineapple drink nearby.
 
See you all in a week,
Rolando
 
Moonset over the Pacific:
 
 
 
MilkyWay over Kohala Mountain: