Photography : Astronomy : Break in the Clouds

The silhouette of the great 4m telescope rises above the rest of the telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. I ran outside during a break in the clouds, so we're between storms right now. However, shortly after sunset the rain started pounding down and continued for most of the night. It's quite an experience, sitting alone in the observing room and hearing the dome moan and rattle like a ghost. The only time I was truly afraid, however, was when some water got through the slit, past the rain shield, onto the telescope frame. I settled my stomach after an examination of the telescope proved that the water was only getting on part of the large U-mount and not the mirror cover. Normally, observing is not so exciting; normally one doesn't observe during the rainy season; and normally the weather at KPNO is great.


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