Tuesday, February 28, 2017

yep, still here...

We stood down for a second night Sunday night because of snow accumulation...reports of over 12" of snow at the science center, rather unusual for this area.  By Monday afternoon the range was ready for us to return, remove the shelters, and bring the payloads back vertical after the storm.  Fortunately the weekend of heavy snow coincided with a dead-zone in the solar wind activity, so we haven't missed much.  There was a pretty aurora over Venetie at one point, and John Elliott sent us a lovely picture.  This is a 30-second exposure so it conflates spatial and temporal structure for an interesting braiding effect.

You can see the cabin where our intrepid Venetie staff is staying.  (You can often see this in the real-time all-sky images from Venetie also.)  Here are some other pictures from David Kenward, who was up in Venetie the first week, and will return tomorrow.  


Venetie is approached by plane, over the White Mountains.  After that there is an enormous plain.  To the far north can be seen the Brooks Range.  David notes that the town is linked by walkie-talkies, and that on one channel there is a sort of general public address system, on which there is occasionally walkie-talkie-bingo, with prizes to be won.

  We are hopeful for clear skies and auroral activity tomorrow, it is looking like a promising evening.  I need to remember to buy donuts for the blockhouse...the pinker and sparklier and  stickier the donuts, the more efficacious they are in inducing good launch conditions.

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