A few nights at work

25 July 2007

Stargazing was pretty good the last couple of nights. Even with the remnants of Cosme on Saturday, we managed to have clear skies all four nights. But the highlight on Sunday and Tuesday nights were definitely the clear skies all the way down to Kilauea. Based on the update from HVO, we had one of the best views anyone has gotten of the fissure eruptions that started on 21 July.

We even dragged a couple of Dobsonian telescopes over to the picnic tables at the back of the parking lot and trained them on the eruption. Based on our back-of-the-envelope calculations, the eruption subtended an angle of about one degree (half as wide as my thumb, held at arm’s length) and was about forty miles away. That made the visible part of the flow about a mile long, but please note that the error bars on that number are large–nearly the size of the envelope itself.

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