Another Must-Have Tool for Astronomers: A Shovel

Article written: 20 Feb , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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Ah, the glamorous life of an astronomer. Scott Kardel, public affairs coordinator for the Palomar Observatory, found himself on top of the dome of the 200-inch Hale Telescope — not observing, but shoveling. Snow. Palomar Mountain has been getting its share of the white stuff this winter, and this weekend close to a foot of snow fell in the area. All that snow can cause problems for using the telescope.

“The basic problem is this,” Kardel wrote on his blog, Palomar Skies. “If you open the dome with snow on the top, snow will fall in on the telescope and instrumentation. So a small crew, each secured with a safety harness, is sent up to remove the snow from the dome slit.”

Kardel posted a nice collection of scenic images from his foray on top of the snow-covered dome, adding that, “At Palomar Observatory every day is an adventure.”

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2 Responses

  1. Astrofiend says

    It needs built-in dome wipers.

  2. Member
    Aqua says

    This video makes the ‘handyman’ in me get itchy! Need a hand with that shovel? Back in the early 80’s I rode my 500 Honda m/c to Mt. Palamar… to pay my respects. From the visitors hall we got to see the actual mirror… nice.

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