Green Flash!

Trip Start Sep 28, 2013
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Trip End Oct 12, 2013


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Flag of Chile  ,
Friday, October 4, 2013

Today has been an eventful day!  A new round of astronomers arrived to work on the 4.0-m telescope, so we met them at dinner (well, I'm sure they were here for lunch, but I would much rather sleep than eat so I'm not usually awake for lunch haha). They all seemed very excited to be here and to start observing tonight.  

We went to the observatory before sunset, like always, and looked for the "green flash."  So far we have not been able to see it, but tonight as we patiently were waiting, Bob had his binoculars out and exclaimed that he sees green!  It wasn't a "flash" but rather spread out over the sun, and it was pretty cool!  Hopefully during another sunset, we will be able to see the flash.  The green flash is visible because of mirage (increased refraction, causing the green color).  We saw it elongated, but it was still awesome.  

Tonight we also very clearly saw Earth's shadow and the Belt of Venus on the other side of the mountains from the sunset.  It was a great night for some great sights.  Earth's shadow is a dark blue band above the horizon, and the Belt of Venus is a pinkish band just above that.  

The rest of the night was spent observing.  We discovered the trick to the auto-guider, which is so useful, but unfortunately tonight our asteroid fields did not have any guide stars to use.  The first few hours of observing weren't successful because we had a slight problem with our fields, but once we figured that out, things went really smoothly.  We looked at asteroids 32615 and 1870.  Our data from last night looked great, so we're hoping to fill in more of the lightcurves tonight!
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