Its a little late….. Hey, I have said it before and I am going to keep saying it, I have never worked so hard in my entire life…. Its both good and bad, the days fly by, but I miss my days off…the bottom line is that things take longer to do! Anyway, if you have been reading my micro blog, you would have known that I headed up to Palomar Mountain for two reasons;
1. To go for a night ride. I love riding at night and I have not really been out since I put the new globes in the bike……The HID head lights are the go…. they are just fantastic! I need to do the web page on them, I really do, but I am a tad busy, I mentioned that right? Anyway, went up the short twisty way, came home the long back way. Nice. Got home about 1:45am. Hey, that’s about Gary time, we should go for that same night ride when he comes over….hmmmm…. wonder if he would feel any better about being on the back of the bike if its pitch black except for the cone of ‘daylight’ coming out the front of the Goldwing???
I went up to look at the LGS. No, not LSD, LGS…. it stands for Laser Guide Star.
<Warning, light geek content following>
What happens is that when you take a photo of stuff in the night sky, generally you guide the telescope on a star next to said object. Some times however, there is no nearby star. What to do? Make your own is the answer.
Get a pretty powerful laser, at just the right color, shoot it into the sky and look at the ‘dot’ at the ‘end’ with said telescope. Hey presto, one star that you can guide the telescope with.
But wait, there is more.
Some bright spark figured out that the laser star ‘twinkles’ just the real stars because the fake star has to reflect its light back through the same unstable atmosphere as the real stars.
Here is where it gets really cool. What if you took that twinkling laser star and used a really thin mirror and connected it to a computer and bunch of actuators and warped the mirror really quick and effectively de-twinkled the star? It would be like you put the telescope into orbit and could take super clear photos of objects .
So, every now and then, thats what they do at Palomar Observatory.
I wanted to see it, so I rode up and checked it out.
Its pretty cool. (Hey, its a geek thing, so just nod your head, smile and pretend to be interested, it will be over soon).
Besides, it was a nice mild night for a ride and I couldn’t sleep anyway…….