Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mount Wilson and Stony Ridge

We are breathing easier in the astronomy community as Mount Wilson and Stony Ridge Observatories have survived thus far from the raging "Station Fire" decimating Southern California. Mount Wilson was particularly touch and go but due to the heroic efforts of ground crews and firefighthing aircraft, the observatory is still standing. Stony Ridge was in the middle of the advancing eastern flank and was essentially not known if it had survived until earlier today. Unlike Mount Wilson, Stony Ridge was built by amateurs like you and me. Thus far, both observatories remain intact. Lets hope they stay that way.

There have been close calls at Palomar and Steward but neither of them was affected. Australia's Mount Stromlo was destroyed in a wildfire in 2003 leaving astronomers there reeling...

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