Look, up in the sky...

Trip Start Sep 09, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Is it a bird? is it a plane? Well it isn't a planet any more!

Poor, poor Pluto.  It  came to life as a planet at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona.  It was found with one of the telescopes here, by the astronomer Lowell.  He named it Pluto as the result of a contest to "name that planet".  There were better suggestions, but Pluto won.  I wonder if it was in anticipation of the cartoon characters named Pluto - the dog or Popeye's foe.  Oh wait, is that Bluto? 

Regardless, it was really neat to see the observatory.  I was the only one there for quite a while so I got to play with a couple of telescopes.  I input coordinates and the machine would move the roof and telescope to the coordinates.  Now, believe it or not, I didn't have the coordinates memorized, so I had some help.  Like any of you actually believed I would have any, remote ability to know what I was doing.  It was more like..."ok, stand here.  Now press the number 1 key, now the number two key.  Ok, press enter.  Keystroke by keystroke, and I still think I nearly gave the fellow an anxiety attack!

Oh, and speaking of anxiety attacks.  You all know about my love of heights.  Well, guess where they build observatories?  On the top of really big hills?  With really windy roads along side of cliffs.  I perservered though, but had to have someone help me release my grip on the steering wheel.  Well, if there was anyone available, they would have had to do that.

I got to see the moon up really, really close and the rings on Saturn.  What a fun evening.
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