Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mt. Wilson Update

Mt. Wilson Observatory is still hanging in there. The Station Fire has now grown to over 120,000 acres. Here is a recent smokey shot of the view from their tower cam:

The tower cam is getting hit by heavy web traffic, so if it does not load for you it may be a sign that the servers are overloaded rather than catastrophe induced by the fires.

Here is the latest official update from the observatory:

Monday, 1 Sep 09, 7:15 am PDT - I wish I had some fresh substantive information to post this morning, but I do not at this point have any news - only what we can all deduce from Towercam and other sources. Towercam scenes continue to show thick smoke on the mountain with a concentration on the right side of the image implying activity on the mountain's north side. It clearly has not reached the mountain and, if advancing towards us, it is only doing so slowly.

The best updates, occasionally mixed in with wild rumors, seem to be found on Twitter.

As you may recall, at Palomar Observatory we faced the threat of wildfire two years ago. Yesterday, Ian O'Neill from Discovery Space and Astroengine interviewed me on the topic. Here is the result: Wildfires and Observatories.

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