A St. Mary’s College professor lecturing students during the ascent of our recent Blood Moon learned that our airspace is never truly empty, with pilots in a commercial airliner 7,000-feet above the college complaining that the professor’s laser pointer was interfering with their vision as they flew – unseen – overhead.
Moraga police reported taking a call from the FAA after the aircraft pilot complained to the federal aviation agency – and some of Moraga’s finest were detailed to get to the bottom of the unplanned light show.
Officers quickly determined that the professor was using a laser to point out the various phases of the eclipse and was not aware the airliner was overhead or that its pilots were bothered by his beam.
Apologies were made, explanations given, and all was forgiven – and chalked up to the furtherance of science and curiosity in developments in our night sky.
It’s not a planetarium, Doctor.
OK, was this a Catholic University integrity test? Point laser at moon and ask, “Do you see that? The heart shaped dark area with the Crucifix in the center? Do you see that… Stoner at periphery of the group, think of me, answers “yes”. Stoner is auditing the course, of course, unbeknownst to the Doctor, and he may be answering truthfully, at least as far as he understands it. He may see the suggested Crucifix in the dark heart region of the moon as indicated by the Doctor’s laser.
An eager young man in a white shirt and bow tie proclaims that he sees it!. The young lady in the pleated skirt and bobby socks from the fifties sees it…
Yet, truth be told, only the approaching pilot can vouch for it…The spot on the moon it would make is not visible from Earth. Oh well, sometimes the power of suggestion and faith is enough to make the invisible visible.
Just an outsider’s perspective, I suppose, but can anyone offer any other explanation as to why a Doctor of anything would point a laser pointer at the sky in an effort to illustrate something????
My first comment was at 7:06 pm. It’s 11:46 pm now, and what? Moraga sleeps? How can anyone engage in conservation when posts are hours delayed?
OK, 1:11 am, and the Moraga tooth fairy is working dbl time to roll up the sidewalk in front of my Moraga domicile. I dare not go out now. goo nite coyotes, goo nite turkeys. goo nite harvest moon!
What’s the name of the obersvatory they have up there??
You can see a laser pointer from 7000 ft?
I take it this wasn’t one of those lasers you use to level pictures in your living room?
Lafayette’s Observatory is cooler.