Looking east towards the Diablo Mountain Range from the Guadalupe Creek Trail in San Jose as the sun goes down behind us. Actually, as the sun falls back behind us in our travels. Standing here, in San Jose, looking east, we are traveling at 825 miles per hour towards that sky just beyond the horizon. The sky, stars, and sun all flying by as we spin around the earth’s axis. I imagine it like we are in a convertible going straight ahead to the east and the sky above is flying towards us and over us, then lost behind us over that west horizon until we complete our circle and come back around to here in 24 hours. Want to know how fast you are traveling when you stand in the place where you are? You can find out by reading this linked page of this website.
Looking down the hall of the 2 mile long straight building at Stanford’s linear accelerator. Straight, not level. The guide said if it was level it would follow the Earth’s curve and at 2 miles long it would then be about 12 inches off of straight at the end. This building was designed to be straight because a couple of stories below ground, under this support equipment that the building is housing, is a long tube that is designed to accelerate particles very near the speed of light. And those particles go straight. You don’t get too many opportunities to look down so perfect an example of a diminishing perspective through distance.
This is the outside of the building, looking down the exact same stretch as seen in the inside photo above it. You can see highway 280 going over the linear accelerator as a bridge not too far ahead in the photo.
Our tour guide took us to a newer building added down the end of the accelerator where x-rays generated by the accelerated particles are used for modern research. The accelerator was running throughout this whole visit, and does so through most hours of most days of the year. And so, behind the tour guide in the above photo, here a few stories under ground, x-rays are flying through the labs in a horizontal tube that I pointed out with the added blue arrow. These x-rays are used in the various experiments going on in the numerous rooms of SLAC.
There is something wonderful about humans working together on huge ambitious projects to advance our understanding of the universe. And it is pretty great to get to look at these projects and to consider what they do and how they do it.
Coming back up to the surface, surrounded by California.
Here are some fun with a flip phone photos from in and around San Jose. These photos have no added filter effects; this is just how cell phone photos use to look. They are less than 2 megapixels and sometimes look a little like computer generated paintings and sometimes like incredibly detailed versions of foggy dreams.
Bathroom in downtown Santa Cruz food court.
Twin Lakes beach in Santa Cruz.
Cottonwood Lake in Hellyer County Park in San Jose.
A street sign in San Jose.
Bobblehead race at the A’s game in Oakland.
Bubbles in the air from a vendor at the Newark Days festival in Newark.
First Street on First Fridays of the month is a great time to see the art galleries, museums, and artists selling their works on the streets.
Found on the trails in south San Jose.
The eclipse on October 14th, 2023 as seen from San Jose, California. This photo was taken soon after the maximum coverage as seen from San Jose through a protective film over the camera lens.
Somehow, when they are lined up like this, it makes it easier to imagine these giant balls floating in space, suspended from all sides by their gravity in relation to space and to earth and myself. I know they are always floating like this, though the alignment makes it more real to my mind, placing them in relation to each other, the sun and moon, making their shared presence in the same sky less abstract. Instead of two circles in the sky as I often sense them; like this, it is easier to sense these giant spheres as very real worlds, more than circles, right out there in our neighborhood of space.
Payphone at Memorial Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains.