And so we say farewell to the tropics for now with this view of the summit of Maunakea from my 2009 flight back to Honolulu and then home. Most of the observatories are visible here, with the exception of the most important one for me: the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope is hidden in the so-called submillimetre valley behind the main summit ridge. I’ll post some photos of that next time 🙂

Getting a port-side window seat on the inter-island flight was always a priority for an astronomer in case it was clear enough to get a view of the summit of Mauna Kea. Fortunately, it was on this occasion and although I was not in a window seat, the person next to me was kind enough to swap when they realized how much I wanted to take photos. I love the fact that I have part of the aircraft wing in the frame – it lends some context to the picture. And the side lighting – even though it’s a bit hazy and the contrast is a bit low – is quite lovely. That was one of the nicest inter-island flights I’ve had – the sunset as we approached Honolulu was gorgeous! I’ll get round to posting photos of that at some point.