Astro 25 - Field Astronomy in the California Mountains

June 24-26, 2016

Post-Trip Photo Page

We had perfect skies and a perfect astronomy location for this, our first offering of Astro 25. Curtz Lake was about 2 miles from the campground, and let us have a quiet and empty place with no trees to block our views. The entire class went well, even with a bit of hassle in getting the right campsites. The phone number for reserving the group campsite for the BLM campground never returned my calls, and so we could only hope that when we arrived we'd have the site. Alas, it was taken by the Boy Scouts. Instead, we stayed at a double site #16, and also tent sites #1 and #3 a short walk away. Site #16 was good as our main HQ, kitchen, and the campground host was easy about letting us put in plenty of tents. Barry Antler, past art photography LIA from many years ago, and always a fan of these expeditions, volunteered his medical skills in case needed. Kirk brought the 12" Dob, and JP brought his 17" and 25" scopes and together we all provided enthusiasm in discovering the globular clusters, open clusters, binaries, galaxies, and even a couple of quasars billions of light years away.

During the day, we hiked to a waterfall a couple of miles above Grover Hot Springs, stopping at various places along the way (shady and with down trees for seats), for my unique "microLectures" on plant formation, compare/contrast of the evoution of the inner planets, and plate tectonics on each of the inner planets and the relation to the Sierra we were enjoying. My final lecture was Sunday morning, down at Markleville Creek just before it joins the Carson River, on cosmology, the origin of the universe, and the new emerging paradigm of eternal Inflation, the multi-verse, and the anthropic principle's relation to this.

Kirk Bender, as always, provided outstanding photographer skills to documenting our trip. I snapped away as I could, with my pocket PowerShot, but Kirk got the best images. I've commandeered a few of them to re-post on this page, but you can see all of his shots on his Flickr page.