Mauna Kea Kisses

My husband, the technosexual man, had Mauna Kea on his short list of must sees.



Okay, first a quick briefing for those of you unfamiliar with Mauna Kea(like I was).

Mauna Kea hosts the world's largest astronomical observatory, with telescopes operated by astronomers from over eleven countries.

Telescopes found at the summit of Mauna Kea are funded by government agencies of various nations.


Mauna Kea is unique as an astronomical observing site because the atmosphere above the mountain is extremely dry -- which is important in measuring infrared and submillimeter radiation from celestial sources - and cloud-free, so that the proportion of clear nights is among the highest in the world. The exceptional stability of the atmosphere above Mauna Kea permits more detailed studies than are possible elsewhere, while its distance from city lights and a strong island-wide lighting ordinance ensure an extremely dark sky, allowing observation of the faintest galaxies that lie at the very edge of the observable Universe. A tropical inversion cloud layer about 600 meters (2,000 ft) thick, well below the summit, isolates the upper atmosphere from the lower moist maritime air and ensures that the summit skies are pure, dry, and free from atmospheric pollutants.

Okay, enough of the sciency schmiency, it was the. coolest. thing. ever. It was odd to be wearing parkas in Hawaii but the freezing nose and fingers worth every minute. The view was the most spectacular thing I have seen, the stars so close it was as if you could pick them out of the sky. The sky was so dark, several moving satellites were visible and the constellations blazed so bright you could easily pick them out. The idea that so many countries work together and share their information and data is hopeful(quick note, Japan is the only country that sells their info rather than share, tsk tsk Japan!). In a word, the trip up Mauna Kea to an elevation of 14,000 feet was breathtaking, and yes in part because at that elevation it is actually difficult to breathe. This guy also took my breath away.

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9 comments:

stargazing daddy said... June 24, 2009 at 12:32 AM  

You are such a stellar kisser :-).

Arizaphale said... June 25, 2009 at 5:31 AM  

What an incredibly 'cool' experience. In more ways than one! I was going to be an astronomer for awhile, when I was about 14....until I realised it was not about travelling in spaceships. Nowadays you wouldn't get me in a spaceship for a million bucks, unlike Richard Branson who has reputedly pre-booked his ticket on the first commercial shuttle flight.
You guys are havin' some fun now!!!

Gypsy said... June 25, 2009 at 7:25 AM  

Aww, so sweet.

My almost ex-/almost not ex-fiance proposed at about 14,000 feet. Breathtaking.

Rassles said... June 25, 2009 at 8:00 AM  

I have always wanted to go there! Seriously. Jealous. Love it.

(psst: "imfook." Hilare.)

A Free Man said... June 25, 2009 at 6:12 PM  

Ahhhh.

But...

What the hell is technosexual.

Hedon said... June 26, 2009 at 12:52 PM  

Man now that is my kind of side-trip. I would love going there.

Blues said... July 3, 2009 at 1:59 PM  

technosexual...hmmm. Does that involve vibrators?

Blues said... July 3, 2009 at 1:59 PM  

p.s. that place looks amazing and that's on our list for next trip to Hawaii.

hereinfranklin said... July 3, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

Oh I hope you're having a great time. Hawaii was on our list for a trip this fall...but somehow the fact that 3 workers and a shit load of tool are working on installing new floors downstairs makes me think otherwise.

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