|Matthew, Jon, Jeff our Guide, Beth, Me, and Paul|
Today we got a chance to film at the US Naval Observatory. This is one of the oldest scientific research centers in the country and the home of the Vice President. We didn’t see him today but we did learn that guards get grumpier the closer you get to his house. The first gate we pulled into was wrong, and apparently close to the house. They told us we were at the wrong gate, pointed in the general direction we needed to go and told me to back up, into traffic, and leave. I asked if I could pull forward and turn around. Nope, back up. The next wrong gate we pulled into was a little further away. The guard told us right where we needed to go, helped me back up, and waved as we pulled off. The third guard, furthest away, basically just said, “Come on in!”
Our first stop was to look at a telescope they used to determine time with for over 100 years.
|The guys using a boom.|
Then we got to go into the library. It is amazing.
It was designed by the same guy who designed the base of the Statue of Liberty. It is round and houses the largest collection of astronomical books in the country. While we were in there our guide brought out a sextant and chronograph. The chronograph was given to Asaph Hall Jr. whose dad discovered two of the moons of Mars.
Also, we learned what can happen when you end up in someone's panoramic picture. The results are not always flattering.
|Man I have big feet!|
The next stop was the nerdiest/coolest. We got to see the US Master Clock. It is THE clock for the department of defense (which on a side note, did you know that the backup system on all US Navy boats in case the GPS goes out is a clock and a sextant - can you imagine the GPS on an aircraft carrier going out and someone out on the deck with a sextant?) The atomic clocks here make up a large chunk of all of those used to determine US Standard Time. The room was . . . boring, but super awesome on a nerd level. It looked like a bunch of big old VCRs, some large filing cabinets and five water heaters. Combined they make up the most accurate clock in the world. It is accurate to within one one thousandth of a billionth of a second!
|The most accurate clock in the world!|
|The master hard at work|