Astro/night photography in Inyo National Forest   -   2009/10/14Viewed 137 times this month, last update: 2009/10/15

Vanessa and I took off for a four-day weekend to observe the LCROSS moon impact, and have a mountain Vacation. We left our home in Lake Forest, and after rambling through the mountains, ended up at Patriarch Grove in the Inyo National Forest. Patriarch grove is one of the two "groves" of Bristlecone Pine Trees in the White Mountains of the Inyo National Forest. Somewhere in Patriarch Grove is the oldest known living thing on earth, a 4000+ year old Bristlecone named Methuselah. It was our second time in the Grove, so we knew it would be a good place to come to, to observe the LCROSS moon impact. It's at almost 12,000 feet of elevation lending clear skies with little atmospheric distortion, and with no city lights for miles and miles, the night sky is very dark.

Unfortantely, the LCROSS impact was far less spectacular then everyone was hoping, so even though I had my full Astrophotography setup going, all I got was a good picture of the general area of the impact:

After the LCROSS impact at 4:31:30 am Friday morning, Vanessa was sleeping, bundled up in the truck, where I'd setup the cargo space as a fairly comfy bed, so I set out to get some good night/moon/sky pictures:

At dawn at about 18 degrees Fahrenheit, Vanessa got up to join me for some "sweet light" photography, after a warming, healthy breakfast of Starbucks instant coffee from my Jet Boil, and doughnuts:

We spent the rest of Friday and most of Saturday resting in Mammoth, watching TV, grading papers, working on maps and pictures, then Sunday, on the way home, we went looking for wild mustangs in the Mono Basin/Pizona/Nevada area. We found tons! See the Wild Mustang Sightings article for more pictures and information, but this is my favorite from the day:

All pictures from our trip are under the subject: October 8th, 2009 - Inyo National Forest

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