We were treated to two hail storms today. The last one was unusually generous in the size and volume of hailstones that issued from the sky upon us. The jeep picked up a few dimples on the hood. Several tornados were spotted in the Denver metro area- It provided some real excitement for the emergency people besides the usual fare of grisly car wrecks and domestic abuse calls.

A low level easterly upslope flow injected humid, unstable air into westerly higher level flows. The result? A large scale shear zone with lots of convection potential. Vigorous convection and lots of moisture energizes hailstone growth.

Hail Gaussling!

Hail Gaussling!

Work is progressing on the new dome at the LTO. The observatory is adding a second dome for a very special 24 inch reflector- The Cole Telescope. Another fellow and I from LTO took posession of this telescope at the Mt. Wilson Observatory several years ago with the understanding that we will provide continued public access.

Funding for the operation of the telescope at Mt Wilson had dried up and the scope was taken out of service. We will be attaching a camera at the Newtonian focus for remote and internet use rather than for eyeball action. The instrument also has a Cassagrainian focus. This telescope was used in the 1960’s during the Apollo project for IR study of possible landing sites on the moon. The primary does have a ding in it due to a gravity accident. Supposedly, a grad student or post doc dropped an object on the 24 ” primary and chipped it. Today, the chip is painted black and it produces only gasps of horror by visitors.

An addition to the observatory building was completed a year ago. The steel pier that will support the telescope has been fabricated and painted. A new drive mechanism and software is in the works and is supported in part by a donation by Software Bisque. Once the scope and mount is bolted onto the pier, the dome will be lifted into place. A solar trickle charger/car battery power supply will energize the electromechanical worlkings like the slit and windscreen.

New dome bristling with Cleco's awaits the riveting crew

New dome bristling with Cleco's awaits the riveting crew

Rivet crew skins the frame of the new dome

Rivet crew skins the frame of the new dome

On a different topic, the first production of Rick Padden’s Beets was a genuine success. We came up short 30 seats for an all time attendance record for a play at the Rialto in Loveland. The play was well recieved and we look forward to doing another production in the area.

Back Porch Set for "Beets"

Back Porch Set for "Beets"

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