When I left home at 10:30 am, the skies were beautiful and clear blue. By the time I arrived at TMI at 3:30 pm, it was completely cloudy and raining very slightly.
Every year I’ve ever been here, Tom Kennedy and Byron Bergert have already been setup in the ring area in the red field. This year they aren’t here, so I snagged it!
I got my gear setup pretty quickly, and headed down to the yurt for dinner and the talk by Dan Wertheimer, chief scientist of the SETI project at UC Berkeley. Dan gave a great talk on the history of SETI research, going back a couple hundred years. He covered not just the SETI @ home project, but several other SETI research projects at other organizations. He finished the talk with a few SETI haiku, my favorite of which was:
One million earthlings
Bounded by optimism
Leave their PCs on
It rained during dinner, but stopped during the talk, so I spent the evening just hanging out under my canopy chatting with my neighbors, until the clouds started parting a bit around 11. The sucker holes were only big enough to see one constellation at a time, but we saw a bit of the Milky Way, so that was nice. When it got completely cloudy again around midnight, I went to bed.
It cleared up from about 2 to about 5:15 am according to some folks. My bladder woke me up at 4:30, and it was completely clear. M31 was naked eye almost at the zenith, and Orion was beautiful just over the mountain to the east. Venus was blazing so bright it was casting shadows.
So far this morning it’s been partly to mostly cloudy, and the forecast isn’t great, but it’s still nice to be here.