[AZ-Observing] Re: Saturday Star Party?

  • From: Wil Milan <wmilan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 23:31:23 -0700

At 06:42 PM 12/14/2001, you wrote:

>How about the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  I imagine the seeing would
>be spectacular!

Earlier Tom Polakis reported observing at Sunglow last night at +15F as his 
personal coldest. Mine is about the same, +13F, also at Sunglow. I was 
wearing every stitch of warm clothing I own and I was still shivering. 
Tonight at the Grand Canyon it is forecast to dip to 11F. I don't even want 
to think about it.

A couple of years ago I did a real-time report on the January 2000 lunar 
eclipse for an online publication, for which I had a bunch of people 
sending in real-time reports from all over North America during the 
eclipse. One fellow in Wisconsin sent updates every half hour or so, taking 
photos of the progress of the eclipse. About two hours into it he reported 
he was calling it quits because his Losmandy mount had frozen solid and he 
could no longer take pictures. I asked him how cold it was and he said it 
was approaching -40F and the lubricant in the mount apparently was no 
longer fluid at that temperature.

Quite honestly, for the life of me I cannot imagine being outside doing 
astronomy in that kind of weather. I really, really don't understand how 
anyone can do it. I think that if I were forced to live in Wisconsin I'd 
take up needlepoint or some other indoor activity during the winter. Or 
maybe give up astronomy altogether: I've camped out in Wisconsin in the 
summer, and all I recall is being attacked by billions of mosquitoes, each 
about the size of a B-17. I'm sure there must be a good time of year to be 
in Wisconsin, but I'm not sure what it is.

Wil Milan
"The heavens declare the glory of God
And the firmament proclaims His handiwork."
   -- Psalm 19:1

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