| The English expression 'smoke and mirrors' implies some sort of activity designed to deceive or fool an audience. However in the last week of August, this expression described reality at the Penticton BC radio observatory. Due to the hot dry summer there have been an enormous number of forest fires in western North America and the resulting smoke has spread far and wide.
The entire southern British Columbia area was covered in smoke from fires in the northern part of Washington State and Southern BC. The first image shows the view of the smoke in the observatory area as seen near the Canadian SKA 15m 'mirror' prototype telescope which is undergoing testing at this time. Local hills are hidden by the smoke. The second image shows the same scene after the smoke finally cleared away almost a week later. Quite a difference!
Editor's note: It is a bit like the recent military parade in Beijing, where the authorities conjured up a blue sky for the occasion, by shutting down traffic and industry in a 300km radius.