Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Toolik Lake

I'm writing from my room at the Toolik Lake Field Station. The temperature here is basically the same it was in Fairbanks, which is a bit surprising, but it was already cold in Fairbanks so I'm not complaining that it's not any colder. This marks my... 6th?... trip above the Arctic Circle. And though the Sun did technically get above the horizon today, the mountains of the Brooks Range to the south were still higher, so I'm calling this as my first day with no sunrise. Here's a timelapse I shot of the mountains with the Sun passing down behind them, just out of view.

Around 6:00pm I was outside and noticed a couple of bright moondogs - sundogs except from the Moon instead of the Sun. I've seen them a few times before but it's still unusual enough to be interesting. So as I was looking, I tipped my head back to look up and noticed a circumzenithal arc up near zenith! Now that's new to me! I snapped a few pictures as I watched not only those two things, but also the beginnings of a parhelic (parlunic?) circle, an upper tangent arc, and, after I looked at the picture on a computer, a supralateral arc. Pretty rare things to see from the Moon. Here's a picture:

Work-wise, I had no trouble pulling out the EMCCD camera I'm bringing back to Fairbanks, which was my whole reason for coming up here. All packed up and ready to go:

I tried to film the drive up and do a better job than my previous attempt:

But I think I had some trouble with several things and I'm not sure what I have is worth working with. I may try to film some more on tomorrow's drive back south to Fairbanks, so we'll see. But that wraps up my tasks up here, next I suppose I'll be thinking about rocket launches and heading to Venetie, AK.

Until then.

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