Etosha Pluto Trip

I returned home yesterday from a very interesting week spent with 2 astronomers just outside Etosha. As I mentioned in the previous post, their aim was to observe an occultation of Pluto (to record a star passing behind Pluto.)

We took advantage of being outside Etosha and did some morning drives into the Park.

For astronomers doing this kind of trip involves a lot of nerves as there are a number of things that can go wrong. The first is getting the telescope and other equipment to the country and location where they will be used. This is no trivial task. The next is to find a place where observing logistics will be possible. In Africa, with the possibility of wildlife issues and security problems, both can be a challenge. And by far the biggest thing, will you actually get to see the sky, and specifically the event that you are hoping to record?

I will be following this post with a number of posts relating to this trip. I am not an astronomer, but will tell you a bit about Pluto and stellar occultations from my limited knowledge and understanding, but more importantly, I will tell you the story of our trip, a bit about what wildlife we saw, and a little bit about Etosha and doing tours to Etosha.

The trip was very special to me and I hope to do more of this type of trip in the future. It was really special to work with the two astronomers, both very experienced. You can learn more about them here:

So if you are interested, keep your eye on the next three or four posts on this blog.
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Frank Kraljic said...

That's great, Vernon! I am really excited to read more about this as you post updates. Also, it is looking very likely I'll be at SML this August! More on that soon...