Much-delayed photos from GRAIL tweetup, part IV

Here are a few final images from September. The last one was taken by a friend on her iPhone, since I had (for no good reason) left my camera in the car that day.

The coolest celestial globe I've ever seen. It's monstrously heavy, lifted enough by the fountain that you can--with effort--rotate it.

...like so.

The #DiscoveryHouse Bludgeon Whale.* This guy is solid metal, and very heavy. *No mammals were harmed in the naming of this whale. 😉

On our way back to Orlando for flights home, three of us Discovery House folk visited Downtown Disney, where I saw a familiar--and wholly unexpected--sight. A genuine Guatemalan experience is Pollo Campero! My mom, brother, and I ate at one when we visited at the end of his year working in a Xela (Quetzaltenango) language school. I'm still kind of curious what a Guatemalan chain restaurant is doing in the middle of Disney/Orlando. Anyone?

[fin]

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Much-delayed photos from GRAIL tweetup, part III

GRAIL’s launch was originally scheduled for the morning of Thursday, September 8, so we all got up and headed for the buses when it was still dark outside. Neil deGrasse Tyson ‘held court’ with a bunch of us as we waited in the parking lot; I don’t remember everything he talked about, but I do remember the Pleiades. They were overhead, and Tyson told us that, although the Pleiades does not comprise seven stars, it’s called the “Seven Sisters” because of ancient myths. The Greeks and Romans gave the subjects of their myths places in the celestial sphere, as you see over and over if you read Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The Sisters was the closest they could come to matching a character/set of characters from myth to what they saw in the sky. (In the myth, Orion pursues the Pleiades until Zeus makes them stars, and the constellation Orion still ‘follows’ the Pleiades cluster in the night sky.) So they tried to make what they saw fit the myths they believed in.

Eventually, though, we boarded the buses and headed for our viewing site at the causeway. We had quite a while to wait, and I was so tired that, I’ll admit, I took a chair and nodded off. Too bad I did, because I saw a kind of crowd a ways down from where I sat; only later I heard that Tyson was still talking to everyone who stayed nearby. In fact, it sounded like he would have talked straight through the launch, if it hadn’t been scrubbed due to weather/wind concerns higher in the atmosphere.

Here are a few photos I captured on the causeway, at any rate. It looked like a beautiful morning, but clouds started to roll in by the first launch window.

Sunrise at the causeway.

Setting up cameras for the launch.

Waiting, as more watchers arrive.

Helicopter flying over from the south.

The view of SLC-17 from the causeway (plus some grasses because I like taking pictures with distant objects framed against near ones).

Wherein I get distracted by patterns, water droplets, light and shadow while I wait.