It has been a while since I’ve updated this journal. Seems like time just slipped away what with “Real Life” just intervening when it felt like it.

My latest “Real Life” Adventure was the American Astronomical Society meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’ve been a member for about 8 or 9 years now and try attend both meetings (one in January, one in June) when time and finances permit. About 1400 astronomers attended this one!

At the end of the meeting I took off on a couple of field trips: one to the Very Large Array radio telescope facility in central New Mexico. Had a chance to crawl up inside one of the dishes that was in the barn for refurbishment, and take some lovely photographs of one arm of the array. For those of you who are into movies, this installation is where parts of “Contact” were filmed some years back.

The other place our group visited was the Apache Point Observatory installations — including the
Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope, and the nearby National Solar Observatory Sacramento Peak Solar Observatory at Sunspot, New Mexico. Some pretty amazing science is being done using these places.

The view from Sac Peak is stunning. It looks out over the White Sands Monument, west of Alamogordo, NM — and you can see for well over a hundred miles on a clear day (or millions of light-years on a clear night!).