Drove to the Badlands today. The weather was great. After checking in and setting up at the campground we went to the national park.
The Badlands are incredible-parts are like giant sand castles, the kind you make by drippling sand. Lots of different colored layers which change color as the sun changes. It is impossibe to truly capture a scene with a camera-you can't get the whole landscape in one picture.
We did most of the loop road today. We didn't stop at all the overlooks today because we wanted to go down a dirt road, plus we were doing the astronomy show tonight.
The astronomy show was great. There was an astrophysics major who is working for the park service this summer, and two others who are hobby astronomers. The one running the session has done astro photography which was amazing. There were two telescopes we used. We saw Saturn and could see the rings (not in great detail but it was great), one of the stars in the Hercules(?) constellation which is really a nebula of a million tightly packed stars, and the "windmill" galaxy which is really two galaxies with one swallowing up the other. The windmill galaxy recently had a super nova (a star blew up) which is a brighter spot in the system. Each of the 3 rangers had green laser lights and they pointed out many of the constellations. The space station went over while we were there and several satellites went over. Satellites are positioned just right for a moment and the solar panels catch and reflect the sun. They look like stars that flash really bright for about 20 seconds. And of course the milky way showed up. It was a large patch of cloudy light with bright patches. It is a giant swatch of light in the sky which slowly moves thru the sky as the earth turns. Very cool stuff. Dale wants us to start trying astro photography now.
I took over 200 pictures today. I've included a small sample.
Tommorow more badlands.