Sorry that my first post of 2011 is from 2010. But this is a fun excursion I want to share with all of you. Our family friends, the Jannis' recently gave us a tour of the telescopes atop Haleakala on the island of Maui. We were given access to this location because, just by chance, Dr. Joseph Janni is the Director of the Air Force Office Research.
Oh, here I am with my Brother, Mom and Dad. Yes, it was very cold.
We were able to visit 2 of the major telescopes. The first one we visited (clam shell roof) is privately managed and maintained by LCOGT, founded by Wayne Rosing, a pioneer in the development of Google. He was also given permission to use the same font and color for his company. LCOGT runs 2 telescopes. The other one is in Australia. They are both operated via scheduled internet sessions.
Another telescope we visited is planted here (on the right). It's the largest telescope on the island of Maui. Dr. Janni noted that based on the conditions and visibility, it is situated in the best location in the world. Since we were in a military facility, this is as close as I was allowed to photograph the telescope. Walking around the telescope you get a sense of how enormous it is. I wish I could show you. Think, the movie Contact.