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In the spring of 2009 I took my second astronomy field trip with Cabrillo College's Rick Nolthenius. We went to Hat Creek on Hwy. 299 between Redding and Adin.
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More of the gang.
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Kirk Bender, Fred Miles and I think the other guy is Ed.
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Getting ready for dinner on the first night.
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Fred, me and Ed.
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Ed, Fred and another fellow student.
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Dinner's almost on.
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This was an interesting fellow. He never wore shoes of any kind. Man, you should have seen the bottom of his feet! Completely black with 1/4" callouses.
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Me - a little younger and a little skinnier.
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I'm still trying to learn how to do some astro photography. I tried to image The Mice (NGC 4676A/B). Unfortunately, what I was able to get wasn't usable since I hadn't discovered guiding yet. But it was still a fun trip.
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On Saturday morning we all headed oveer to the Hat Creek Radiotelescope Observatory. Here's one of the staff that monitors the incoming signals from all of the telescopes. It all gets separated into sets for astronomical research and SETI study. They had a really impressive data storage room behind the window in back.
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Here are the radio telescopes. When we were there they had 30-some telescopes with about 250 planned for the future. The ended up having some funding problems a few years ago and had to close up shop temporarily. The good news is that they're back up and running again now.
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Another of the staff took up out to check out the radiotelescopes. There's a trapdoor underneath that you can stick you head up into. The metal in the front is an EM transparent cover for the antenna inside. That way all the snow in the winter won't damage the electronics.
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What beautiful setting for an observatory. One of the original telescopes on the far left.
One of the original telscopes.
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A beautiful day...
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and beautiful scenery.
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Here is a shot of the receiver antenna. The blades are different lengths that each correspond to a specific frequency.
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On Saturday afternoon Rick took us all out to a nearby lake for a hike. Along the way Rick lectured about geography and other earth sciences.
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Getting ready for our hike.
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Nice views!
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It did get a little warm along the trail, so we did take regular breaks.
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At one of our rest breaks, Rick took to the water while he continued the lecture. I think his heart stopped for a second when he first jump in :)
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Dynamic speaker! :)
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The first class I took from Rick was Astro 9 (Solar System and some Cosmology). I think Rick is one of the best instructors I've ever had. I really connected with his teaching style and enjoyed all of the classes I took from him.
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Relaxing around the camp fire after a long day. The last night of our field trip.
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Sunday morning bere we all headed for home Rick took us out to explore some lava tubes not far from Hat Creek.
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