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



And it was open!



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



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



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.



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.



Looking back to the jeep.



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



Mt Pacifico (W6 CT-015) in the background



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.



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.


30m CW: NS7P, W6JMP, KX0R

Then packed up and headed down



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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