Launch Pad: Day 4, Thursday

Yesterday we went over stellar evolution–white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes–and using astronomy in fiction. We also visited the university’s computer lab and discussed how Hubble pictures like this one are derived:

We also saw the planetarium and had a field trip out to the Cavalryman for dinner before heading out to Red Buttes Observatory where, unfortunately, we couldn’t open the dome due to humidity levels. But we did get to see the large telescope they had there and talk with the graduate student camped out doing research there.


Jerry Oltion gazing at the mirror.


There was evidence of quite a bit of whimsy and a healthy sense of humor in the observatory. Sheep slippers by the door!


Vonda McIntyre pointing out “telermascope” on the white board in the control center.

And we stood outside for a long time gazing up while Jerry and Mike picked out constallations with their laser pointers.


After dinner, I flashy-thinged my fellow workshopers. Um, then I turned my flash off. Left to right: Jeff, Lori, Josepha, Tempest, Vonda, Scott, Jerry (W.), Jerry (O.), Alaya

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5 Responses to Launch Pad: Day 4, Thursday

  1. terracinque says:

    What was on the menu at The Cavalryman that you could eat? It sounds like a cowboy restaurant where the popular bill of fare would be entire sides of beef.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Actually, while not a “side o’ beef” establishment, it was indeed a steak house which didn’t have anything aside from sides, appetizers, and a soup-salad bar option on the menu. But when a few of us went up to inspect the salad bar (which was not impressive as far as salad bars go), I asked one of the servers (who I suspect was actually a maitre d’ now that I think about it) if they knew what the stock was in the soup and whether there was any meat in it. He then answered my question and also suggested that the chef could make a vegetarian entree, a mushroom stroganoff, up for me if I preferred. I exclaimed “yes,” ’cause, again, the salad did not impress.

      It wasn’t at all what I expected–which was mushrooms, white cream sauce, and pasta–but was nevertheless tasty. It was more mushrooms, red cream sauce, and no pasta but other vegetables: tomatoes, onions, peppers. Alaya, another Launch Pader, is also a vegetarian; we both had it and both agreed that it was quite satisfactory.

      All-in-all, I was impressed by the place. They even came out to verify the kind of vegetarian I was.

  2. dean13 says:

    Scientists and engineers are chuck full of whimsy and humor! Sounds like the seminar continues to be informative and great fun.

    Say, do you know what important NASA related event took place 38 years ago today, July 20th, 1969?

    Here is a hint in the form of a quote: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”

  3. melissajm says:

    Hey, now I can see what Josepha’s been up to! ;)

    Seriously, she told me about it, and it sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  4. Great pix! Glad you veggies are being fed at all in cattle country.

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