The 2007 Southern Skies Star Party
July 14-22, 2007
Photos by Fred Bruenjes unless noted.
Monday: Uros floating islands
On the shore of Lake Titicaca, our hotel has a storied history. On site are the Limachi brothers, who built the Ra II for Thor Heyerdahl. This is also where the Abora III was built, which is currently sailing from New York to Africa!
Our guide Ivan explains today's trip to Kala Uta and the Uros (floating islands, villages built on floating reeds) and Uruitu people.
Sean enjoying the ride on the hydrofoil.
One of the older floating islands.
Libby ate a piece of the tortora reeds the islands are made of...
They're anchored in place with sticks driven into the mud - but a strong storm can dislodge them!
We visited a town on land to see a pottery museum... a few minutes after this is when I threw up (due to the altitude, gasoline fumes, long hike, and nasty smelling town)
Tuesday: Tiwanacu ruins
Tiwanacu, pre-Incan ruins, some of which are just now being excavated.
The original stonework was incredibly precise!
Thursday: Chacaltaya 17,500 feet!
Going through the El Alto slums on the way to the mountain.
With La Paz in the background, Fred chews coca leaves to help prepare for the ascent up the mountain. Photo by Libby Winter.
We visited the astrophysical observatory near the top of the mountain; this is where the pi meson (or pion) particle was discovered, for which a Nobel prize was awarded.
The muon detector was down for periodic maintenance so we got to go inside it!
Manuel De La Torre explains the cosmic ray detector electronics.
Atop Chacaltaya at Manuel's old observatory. Photo by Manuel De La Torre.
Saturday: Vic Winter memorial service
Kallawaya ceremony for Vic; Jen wearing Vic's favorite jacket.
Soviet leader Brezhnev gave this hydrofoil (now named the Glasnost Arrow) to President Nixon; we used it to scatter Vic's ashes in the lake (This was Vic's favorite boat and Vic had met Nixon so it was appropriate)
Hubertine, Jen and Fred atop Jipi Mountain where we placed Vic's urn at the proposed new observatory site.
Our observing pad with the Milky Way above.
Eta Carina. Photo by Jen Winter and Fred Bruenjes.
The Running Chicken (no I don't see a resemblance either). Photo by Jen Winter and Fred Bruenjes.
Lagoon and Trifid nebulas. Photo by Jen Winter and Fred Bruenjes.
Omega Centauri, finest of all globular star clusters. Photo by Jen Winter and Fred Bruenjes.
Small Magellanic Cloud. Photo by Jen Winter and Fred Bruenjes.
Antares / Rho Ophiuchi region. Photo by Jen Winter and Fred Bruenjes.
Center of the galaxy. Photo by Jen Winter and Fred Bruenjes.
8 hour star trail exposure.
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