Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mauna Kea Observatory

We took off that night to visit the Mauna Kea Visitors Center and Observatory. It was crazy! We didn't take any of our own pictures because it was much too dark. I pulled these off of the internet. The visitors center was only 26 miles from our hotel, but it was steep climb in the dark. I watched the temperature gauge drop from 84 degrees to a frigid 48 degrees within that distance!! We didn't know exactly what to expect, and I'm sorry to say that we were the only ones wearing shorts and flip flops. Atleast I bundled up Ashlyn in some warm clothes, Rust and I just don't own any!! It could have been worse though...there's actually snow and snowboarding up there in the winter.

I've never seen more stars in my life with just the naked eye. They had some amazing telescopes though, I saw the rings of Saturn and the moon very clearly. We also saw Venus and Jupiter. I think our favorite part though was the freeze dried ice cream (it was dry and crunchy, but tasted just like Neapolitan) and getting back into our warm car when we were done.

I was also really happy to finally see the Southern Cross. Hawaii is the only place in the northern hemisphere where you can actually see it. It's the "pole" star to mark the southern direction.


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