But on the way down to Tucson, we had to drive right by Tombstone, AZ, so Resident Astronomer Peggy suggested we stop there and have lunch and maybe witness a gunfight in this old wild west town. So we stopped and had lunch and saw a gunfight reenactment in one of the local saloons and then got back on the road without staying for the probably more historic reenactment of the gunfight at the OK corral.
|Historic street in Tombstone with covered boardwalks and gunfights pretty much every day|
We arrived in Tucson and it was too early to check into our hotel and we had some free time because our two observing sessions, on Mt. Lemmon and on Kitt Peak, were scheduled for the next two nights, so we took a chance and drove down to Mt. Hopkins to see we see some of the observatories there. Well, I knew that the visitor center would not be open, but I didn't expect that the gate would be closed, but that is exactly what we found. At least we could see one of the Cherenkov light telescopes that make up the VERITAS array, which is used in cosmic ray research. I've talked about how the Cherenkov array is used in cosmic ray research before and if you want some of those details you can check out the February 24, 2018 blog.
|One VERITAS Cherenkov light telescopes is visible beyond closed gate at Mt. Whipple Observatory Visitor Center|
|Checked into our Tucson hotel with clear skies and view of Mt. Lemmon in the background (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
|Getting ready to go underground with our retired AF docent at Titan Missile Museum (Source: Palma Observatory)|
|Resident Astronomer Peggy makes her way deep into the ICBM silo complex (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
|Inside the Titan II missile silo launch control room (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
|One of the last Titan II ICBMs, now decommissioned (Source: Peggy/ Palmia Observatory)|
|Back at our hotel, it seems the Mt Lemmon cancellation was accurate (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
|Resident Astronomer George indulges his inner child at the Pima Air Museum (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
|One display showed Resident Astronomer Georges' father's area of WWII service (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
He flew a lot of C-46 and C-47 aircraft and even some C-54 and C-109 aircraft. His flight logbook had many entries where it would say something like, "#2 engine quite, had to turn back" or "#3 engine failed, had to turn back." It was hard time making it over the Himalayas missing an engine.
|The C-47 was one type of aircraft my father flew in WWII (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
|Hey, they had an old Standard Missile 2, which I spent 4 years working on its development (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
|Now we see why our night on Kitt Peak was also cancelled, as impact of Hurricane Rosa continues (Source: ABS News)|
Resident Astronomers console their clouded out nights with martinis at Fleming's Steakhouse (Source: Palmia Observatory)
We still plan to return to Tucson to try a repeat of our observing sessions there. We started off with the goal of visiting three observatories in Arizona, and now with the successful completion of the Mt. Graham International Observatory, and with the addition of the Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins, where many scopes including the 6.5 meter Multi-mirror Telescope (MMT), we still have this one and the two old ones, Mt. Lemmon and Kitt Peak, to complete.