Monday, March 25, 2013

March 23, 2013 Observation

On Saturday evening, March 23, 2013, Charles Braswell & I met Mike Fischesser and about 15 of his TASSC kids for an hour of observations from the back deck of a Kistler Highway (NC 105) house, which looks up Linville Gorge from near the mouth of the gorge (see attached image).  The Kistler Highway house has been chosen as the location for our next full-time BML Camera (BMLCam2)---to be installed soon.

Linville Gorge from Kistler Highway (NC 105) Home Site
Looking North with prominent Shortoff Mtn on the right
Canon EOS REBEL T3i Digital SLR Camera, 18 mm, f/3.5, 1/5 sec
March 23, 2013  8:05 pm

Binoculars, spot lights, a Canon REBEL EOS digital camera and a tripod-mounted Canon VIXIA HFG20 nighttime digital video camera were employed.  During the observation, a single white light was periodically seen slowly moving upward on Shortoff Mtn, eventually stopping near the top, and moments later was joined by an orange light, which was then observed at the same location until we ended our observation about 45 minutes later.  We interpret the white light to be that of a solo hiker ascending the Mountain-To-Sea Trail on the south flank of the mountain to the popular backcountry campsite on the summit, at which point the hiker started a campfire (the orange light).  These were the only lights we saw in or near Linville Gorge last night.  The weather was high cloud cover and fair with only a gentle wind.  Smoke from the Kistler Highway house 
fireplace/woodstove occasionally drifted between us & the gorge, providing some strong, well-developed light beams from our handheld spotlights (coon-hunting type spot lights).  At times the beams appeared to streak nearly all the way to Shortoff Mtn from the house.  The video will be made available later.

Additional nighttime video observation is also planned from the Kistler Highway house---we expect some great photography from this excellent observation site.  We hope to also conduct our own staged light tests on the Mountain-To-Sea Trail, as well as the Wolf Pit Trail, to the summit of Shortoff Mtn---also Pinnacle, Hawksbill, & Gingercake Mtns, as well as overlooks along the Kistler Highway.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Meeting of Brown Mountain Lights Research Team

Our Brown Mountain Lights Research Team held a mini-symposium meeting Friday night, March 22 at the home of Cato and Susan Holler. The gathering provided the opportunity to review our progress for the past year as well as our plans for the future. Guest speaker Matt Elliott entertained with his light encounters in Linville Gorge. Everyone left with a better appreciation of the teams efforts and progress to date. We all feel that if our next 12 months are as full of discovery as the past 12 months have been, we may actually crack this nut!