Transit of Mercury and Peak 3819 (W6 CT-265) 9 May 2016

There was a transit of Mercury across the face of the sun this morning, and the Mt Wilson Institute opened the solar observatories for viewing by the public. I got up there about 0645

150 foot solar observatory

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And it was open!

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Mercury and sunspots were visible. This is only the second time I have seen mercury. Last time was about 40 years ago when I spotted it near the horizon at sunset when I lived in England

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I signed the guest book, and saw that Professor Stephen Hawking visited the observatory in 1990

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The Snow Solar Telescope was built in 1904, and this horizontal shed is the telescope. It has flat mirrors outside which reflect the suns rays to a concave mirror inside. This was the first ever permanent solar telescope in the world, back in the day.

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It was great to get to see these solar telescopes in operation. I had never had the opportunity before. I have observed through the 100 inch astronomical telescope, that was for half a night last August. Truly spectacular. I love Mt Wilson!

After more than two hours at Mt Wilson, it was still early so I decided to head to Acton to activate a new summit. I headed for Peak 3819, which Dan NA6MG and I had tried to get added to SOTA for a couple of years, and now has been made a new SOTA peak along with hundreds of others in the W6 association. I had not alerted but got good cell service in Aliso Canyon and was able to place an alert for 1815Z (1115 local). I turned up Arrastre Road, and parked in a turnout near a HV power pylon. There are heavy mining trucks on this road so it is good to park at a turnout!

I knew the HF propagation conditions were bad (K=4 A = 35) but I thought I would give it a go anyway.

Peak 3819 (el 3819 ft), W6 CT-265. It rises about 520 feet (158m) from the height of land. You can see the use trail I took. The first part is quite steep but not too bad. By the way, Dan and I refer informally to this peak as “Rejection Mountain” since it had been rejected for SOTA for so long.

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Looking back to the jeep.

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Mt. Gleason (W6 CT-017) from the summit. It took only 20 minutes to get to the top

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Mt Pacifico (W6 CT-015) in the background

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Left of center Pk 4460 W6 CT-144, in back is Mt Emma W6 CT-029, and just right of center nearer is new SOTA peak Pk 4300 W6 CT-262. Both Pk 4460 and Pk 4300 can be approached on foot or by bike.

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When I got on the air, I heard W6JM in Colorado calling CQ, so called him and we had a QSO. Then heard WA7NCL calling CQ and we had a 10 minute QSO. After this I heard K8TE/M calling CQ NPOTA down 4 or 5 kHz so worked him too. Then went back to 14.062 and had a few QSOs, then to 10 MHz for a few more. As expected, conditions were not very good. When I got home I saw that RBNhole had spotted me to the SOTA page, on both 20m and 30m.

20m CW: W6JM, WA7NCL, K8TE/M, W0MNA, W0ERI, KX0R

30m CW: NS7P, W6JMP, KX0R

Then packed up and headed down

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Somehow I got onto a different use trail on the descent, I went to the left and did not notice I should have gone to the right. Didn’t matter since it got me back to the road a couple hundred yards from the Jeep, and was less steep than the way up. Then headed home!

73! Hal N6JZT

 

 

 

 

 

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