longexposure April 11th, 2013
Few things are as atmospheric as Science made flesh on a grand scale. The technology and tools of research feed awe and tingling excitement, whether it’s near or far from one’s own domains of expertise. Finally coming up on these hulking giants in the darkness, hearing the clicks, whirrs and juddering grind as they shift position in the midnight blackness was the stuff of fantasy.
Unsurprisingly, it was dark out here. Extraordinarily so. Positioned deliberately far from civilisation, away from both visible and invisible radiation sources, with warnings about powering down phones and radios, it sits amid a quiet complex past echidna roadkill and grazing kangaroos. Even the feeble setting moon provided little help to visibility, to the point that I walked into a fence, realising what it was only by feel – knowing it was there didn’t help me see it after.
All that *was* visible was the stars, so many, many stars. Staring upward into the field of inky black dotted with light was like gaining superhuman vision. Utter clarity.
I did count myself fortunate, though, to have that window of clear sky; within an hour, cloud swept in from the east, and replaced my starlit vista with muddied darkness.