It’s 12:30 am as I write this. The day starting with meetings at AURA, and a tour of some of the facilities. After that long day we went to Cerro Mayu observatory to observe the southern sky. It was the first time I got to see Alpha Centauri and the Southern Cross with my own eyes. While I’m somewhat familiar with the southern constellations from drawings, drawings don’t give you a sense of their actual scale in the night sky. The experience was a combination of familiarity and strangeness.
And therein lies one of the struggles with writing about my trip at the moment. There is a lot to process, and little time to really capture these experiences in words. Certainly not clear and well written words. I’m experiencing so much, so quickly, that it is almost like sipping from a fire hose.
Later today we visit Gemini, which is at about 8,000 feet. Afterwards we’ll go to CTIO and spend the next couple nights up on the mountain. And then onward to more. It’s a lot to take in, and so many experiences combined with a bit of sleep deprivation gives you an almost otherworldly experience. As one of my fellow ambassadors said, it feels like moving through a dream.