On Sunday 11th December Juno completed it close pass of Jupiter, meanwhile the summit of Mauna Kea was doing it’s best impression of the arctic. After the fog we had for the second observing run the weather had continued to deteriorate. Down at sea level there was lots of flooding and up at the summit it snowed almost down to Hale Pohaku (which  is at 3000 meters above sea level)!

So here’s Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls when I visited in April 2015…

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Rainbow Falls 🙂
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Akaka Falls 🙂

and here’s Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls on the 1st December…

The bad weather was pretty solid for the week leading up to my scheduled observations, with many other observers having their observations cancelled. The satellite data was showing a pretty big weather system and there was 80-100% cloud coverage with snow forecast for the 11th December when I was supposed to observe.

But the weather didn’t settle down. I was in email contact with the telescope operators who were sat at Hale Pohaku watching the snow build up on the telescope dome. The road conditions to the summit were less than ideal and since it was snowing there was literally not point in observing.

So the observations were called off and it was sad to miss taking measurements with Juno. Unfortunately once you’re observations are called off due to bad weather that’s it, you’ve had the time you were scheduled and there is no time left at the telescope to have another go on a different night.

I’ve still got one more observing run on the 28th December but it won’t be simultaneous with Juno. Even though we won’t be able to observe alongside Juno, hopefully the weather settles down and we will take some great data and do some fun science! I heard it was going to be fine though because I wrote “clear skies” on my Christmas list, so we should be golden for the 28th December.

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