Thursday, December 20, 2012

AAO planning day

i'm up at siding spring observatory for a quick two-night data collection frenzy.   unfortunately, we're under a thick blanket of clouds, so not much data has actually been collected :(  instead, i'll show you some photos from the australian astronomical observatory's "planning day" that was held up here a couple weeks ago. 

the big 4m telescope lives in there.

several people from the astronomy side and from the engineering side of the operation gave short talks to highlight their work, science, and upgrades to all the facilities.  it was cool to sit on the dome floor next to the beast while listening to everyone speak.

a few instruments that manipulate the light collected by the telescope mirror live in a cage under the telescope at the cassegrain focus.

it was there that i found this note, in permanent market on metal: good luck :)

this black thing is the 2df instrument that usually sits way atop the prime focus cage at the end of the telescope when i'm observing.  (you can watch a beautiful video of 2df at work here)

there are many other telescopes at siding spring observatory.   this building is where the 2.3m telescope lives.  the entire building rotates around so that the opening on the top faces the same direction as the telescope points.  astronomers have to be careful though, because the bathroom is located outside the dome, and they can easily get disoriented if the dome spins while they are doing their business in the middle of the night!

this is the 2.3-meter telescope that lives within the square building.

and this is the ancient little computer that one uses to change filters for one of the instruments. 

for dinner at the AAO planning day, we traveled ~15 minutes north of coonabarabran to an aboslutely gorgeous winery.  

of course we set up some small telescopes, and enjoyed looking at the sun through solar filters.

unfortunately, thick clouds covered the night sky.  we enjoyed a wine tasting after the meal, and watched as a spectacular lightning storm performed all around us. 

1 comment:

Sakib said...

I think one of the greatest projects carried out recently at the AAO is the SuperCOSMOS Ha Survey! Quentin Parker and co are amazing! Also David Malin is a legend!