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Mauna Kea Observatory Visit number Two

Aloha from Hawaii,

On Sunday July 6th at 4:00pm I headed for the summit of Mauna Kea to get some high quality sunset and starlight photos, and was only 50% successful.

Due to the overhead Cirrus cloud formation, viewing the Milky Way and the night sky was not possible.  It is frustrating to have traveled 5,000 miles to Hawaii and this is one of the sights I had my heart set on viewing, and the weather is not cooperating.  Fortunately the sunset from Mauna Kea is breathtaking and I snapped numerous quality photos.

One side effect of spending prolonged periods of time at 14,000 feet is a severe headache due to the lack of oxygen.  Since every breath is only taking in approximately 61% of the oxygen one receives at Sea Level, your body undergoes oxygen starvation.  In addition to being lightheaded, tingles in your fingertips, and the potential for cerebral and pulmonary edema, the headache can be excrutiating.

After taking sunset photos and holding out hope for a clear view of the Milky Way for almost two hours, I was approached by a friendly scientist from the Mauna Kea visitors center.  He advised that I go down to the visitors center (which is at 9,000 feet) to regulate my oxygen intake.  I took his advice, and was pleasantly surprised to experience my headache disappear once my body responded to the increase in oxygen.



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    Mauna Kea Observatory Visit number

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