Astronomy on Namib Rand Nature Reserve

I have just returned from a stint as the astronomer at Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge. They use volunteer astronomers to manage the astronomy talks for guests. Most astronomers stay for a few months, but I just fill some of the gaps. It's a great way to keep in touch with astronomy and to have some time to do my own thing.

The astronomy wasn't to great for most of the time. September can be a little poor as they burn fires in much of the interior of the subcontinent in the late dry season. It makes the sky a little hazy. Usually not to bad though, but there are some days where it's really thick. There were also some cloudy days. These are the first hint of the rainy season that will start to appear. Usually early on there will only be a few days of clouds, then weeks between before more clouds. I just hit a spell with my astronomy unfortunately. However, I did get some viewing in, and spend one night up till about half past one, looking at the stars after the guests had gone to bed.

I did a lot of walking. Most days I walked both morning and afternoon. I love getting out early. In the evenings I usually didn't go to far with walking as I had to be back to set up for astronomy. I did some walking in the dunes and some in the mountains. It really gave me a chance to get back in touch with the pro Namib area that I love so much.

I also had the chance to do some guide training, which I always like. It always helps put a new prospective on one's own field knowledge.
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