: views from the Hill

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Up above the Valley of Heart's Delight

Up above the valley sits the Ham cam, a webcam up at the Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton.

I grew up in the foothills near Mount Hamilton Road. The drive up the road to the observatory is a stomach-twisting series of switchbacks, but the view from the top is glorious, both the view looking west out over the (((Santa Clara)|Silicon) Valley)|(Valley of Heart's Delight) -- the view that the cam takes -- and the view east looking out toward the Central Valley and Yosemite.

Spectacular views.

The cam site includes a "movie" concatenation of the previous day's views and a gallery of memorable shots.

The valley started using low pressure sodium street lights in lieu of mercury vapor lights decades ago in response to requests from the Observatory. Read up to learn more about light pollution and how it affects astronomical researchers.

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