Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Closer to the sky

I very often travel to standards meeting. A usual standards week consists of mainly long meetings followed by dinner in a pub or restaurant, where we try to compromise on what we could not agree in the meeting room.

Sometimes the day before or after the meeting I have some time to look around the area where the meeting is. A visit to the old town, a museum, a national park can break the monotony of arguing about standards and protocols all week long.

The meeting in September 2007 was very special. It was on the Big Island of Hawaii, just one hour drive from the Mauna Kea summit, where the worlds biggest telescopes are installed. We even got the chance to go inside the W.M. Keck observatory (www.keckobservatory.org).

The feeling to be so close to the sky was very special for me. It was not only because of the altitude (13790 feet, ~4203 meter), but the rare oxigen, clear sky without pollutions and artificial light, magnified the feeling. And watching the top of the clouds from above was also a rare experience.

Do you see the other summit in the background? That is the Haleakala summit on the island of Maui, 38 miles away.

This is after sunset, the place where I took the photo was 5 min walk from the conference facility. I forgot to take my tripod, so I could not take pictures with myself in the foreground. Maybe it was better that way :)

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