Astro 28Z: Field Astronomy at Mono Hot Springs

Sept 18-20, 2015



Our course will be conducted at Mono Hot Springs, in the Sierra about 50 miles northeast of Fresno Our first meeting is the pre-trip class on Saturday Sep 12 at 9am-2pm in room 705 and the planetarium (room 706a) which will include logistics, maps, time for you to arrange carpooling, and lectures and slides on the formation of the solar system, and the sky. You'll transport yourself to the campsite (no yellow school bus. You're in college now!). I'll meet you at Mono Hot Springs Friday evening Sep 18. During the evenings, we'll study the planets, and galaxies, and the denizens of the Milky Way Galaxy in which we live - star formation regions, binary stars, massive hot stars, dim red dwarfs, newly dead stars, supernovae remnants. During Saturday, we'll hike to Doris Lake and have some micro-lectures along the way, time for in-depth explorations of the lake's waters, then another hike to a beautiful hot spring perched on a cliff with a spectacular view.

Our campsites are: Site 14 (6 people max, 2 vehicles included), Site #17 (6 people max, 2 vehicles included), and Site #30 is a double site and will be our "kitchen" as well as camping, it holds 12 people and 4 vehicles.. All sites are along the San Juaquin River.

We explored Mono Hot Springs at the Astro 28W course in fall '07. Check out the Astro 28W post-trip photo page here, and also check out this excellent portfolio of pictures from astro clubber Kirk B in 2011 with Astro 28D


The campground is right on the south fork of the San Jaquin River

South fork of the San Jaquin River near camp. One of the hot springs is immediately across the river from the campground

Doris Lake, near camp, will be a mid-day destination for lectures (see first image of this page), lunch, and a swim


Planetary Processes Studies

During the day, we'll hike to Doris Lake and have my unique "micro-lectures" which relate the planetary processes which form the varying surfaces of the inner planets and large moons, to their astronomical origins and collision histories. We'll also visit at least two of the hot springs which emerge here - including "Little Eden", spectacularly perched on the edge of a steep mountainside with a panoramic vista of the Sierra (see Astro 28W post-trip photos page). I'll pass out materials for study as well, in the field. We will also study the moon at night, and compare/contrast with the features we see during our hikes.


Rules of the Class, Grading

Camper's Checklist