Astronomy & Fire: Mt Wilson Observatory & JPL under threat

Astronomy & Fire: Mt Wilson Observatory & JPL under threat

This has not been a good August for the hearts of observational astronomers around the globe. A few weeks ago, smoke filled the Canary Islands as fires swept toward – but not quite to – Roque de Los Muchacho, home of the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope . Now, the Station Fire is threatening both the Jet Propulsion Lab and Mt Wilson Observatory (Emily Lakdawalla has a story here).  For the next day or so I suspect much of the space sciences community will be holding its collective breath as we wait to see if these two facilities survey the flames. And while we wait, our hearts go out the scientists, engineers, and staff of these two facilities who have lost their homes to the fire. Fire is a part of astronomy. We didn’t exactly design the...

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