Sleep over.

Had a fantastic opportunity Saturday night….. The 200 inch Hale telescope is having its mirror supports refurbished. This means that there are no astronomers using the telescope. In fact, for this one weekend, it also meant that there were no engineers working either…. so the place was pretty much empty…… Enter the docents!
Freddy and I were invited to sleep over at the Observatory along with a few others.
We arrived just after sundown and had the chance to look at some of the work going on in the 200 inch dome.


I took the above photo of the Rangie parked outside the dome. It was pretty cool to be the only ones there other than Jean, the telescope operator.

It goes with out saying that I was really excited to be there, here is a photo of Freddy being excited about being there with me…..


Ever the suffering geeks wife, she made the best of hanging around in a very quite dome…. Apparently she almost feel asleep!

George Hale changed the way astronomy was done by having sleeping quarters, houses and workshops on site with the telescope.
Back in the day, astronomy (sadly) was limited to a mans domain, so the sleeping quarters were called the monastery. To this day, they are still called that.
Here is a photo at night of the monastery that we ate and slept in.










I don’t have a photo of dinner, the food was just too good to break away from!

Next morning, I was up before dawn to take some photos. You just don’t get a chance to be up there before sunrise, so I was not going to waste it with sleep!








That’s the 60 inch and 200 inch domes in the morning glow.

Once back with the rest of the sleepyheads, we had breakfast;


This is the same table that the greats of the Hale Telescope would have had breakfast and dinner at!

It was one of the best few hours sleep I have ever had! The place is so quite and despite my excitement, I was sound asleep a few minutes when we retired at might night.

It was a great chance to get to know some of the other Docents better and off the job so to speak. We shared stories and photos, it was a lot of fun and really interesting.

All in all, just an amazing experience. I wonder if I we will ever get the chance to do it again?
I would like to thank Scott and Susan for making it all happen.