We were up and out early again to drive towards Davis Mountain in Texas to visit the McDonald Observatory. First we dropped the camper at Davis Mountain State Park. We then drove up to the observatory for a daytime program. We killed some time in the exploration center.
We learned more about the Dark Sky initiative and had a tour of one of the larger telescopes. We got to see how it moves and tracks with the dome closed.
It was GIANT.
Then we toured the Hobby Everly Telescope (HET). It was made of more than 90 mirrors and looks at light instead of regular visual images. During our tour it began to rain and then hail. I was fascinated by the hail. I could hardly focus on the telescopes when there was ice balls outside the window.
We headed back to camp for rest and relaxation before our late evening viewing program.
It started to rain again, then small hail about the size of a pea. Suddenly the hail got bigger, about dime sized. We thought we would float away with all the rain. This is supposed to be desert!
After the storm ended to headed out to the observatory again. The clouds were still in the area so we didn’t have high hopes of our program happening. We were able to take part of a tour and see the 36” telescope but not able to use it. I got to drive the dome during a demonstration of how it would work if the weather wasn’t icky.
We saw some photos on the guides laptop of things we WOULD have been able to see. Oh well, there is always another time. The gave us cookies and lemonade and that made it all better.
In the morning of departure we took our time and enjoyed playing outside with all the rocks and roly-poly bugs we found. We made a city for the roly-poly bugs.
Off we go to Carlsbad area for several days of fun and exploring.