I’ve been visiting Southern California as part of a global observing campaign to image Pluto and its moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra as they pass in front of bright stars on June 23 and 27. Michael Hicks, Beverly Thackeray, and I, assisted by Heath Rhoades, successfully saw Charon block the light of the star on the morning of June 23 from JPL’s Table Mountain Observatory in Wrightwood, CA.
After the occultation, I’ve had the opportunity to go on a few hikes in the Los Angeles area, including Sandstone Peak, a rocky outcropping in the Santa Monica Mountains which, despite its name, is igneous in origin. A 6-mile loop brings you from the parking lot on Yerba Buena Road up through the hills and forests to the stony peak. The last time I hiked this trail was on a foggy afternoon in January, so the sun was quite welcome on this excursion.
Sandstone Peak June 2011, a set on Flickr.