Thursday, March 14, 2013

siding spring observatory: regrowth

two months have passed since bushfires swept through siding spring observatory in NSW, australia. 

an amazing aspect of nature is its ability to regrow so quickly.   here is an image taken by the AAO's fred watson last week from the UKST looking over at the 4 meter anglo-australian telescope (AAT).   green regrowth is everywhere on the mountain and the surrounding area!  

Regrowth at Siding Spring Observatory (Credit: Fred Watson)
these plants thrive on the occasional fire.   it's nature's way. 

while the site isnt fully open to the public yet, operations have resumed at the AAT.  most notably, our team in charge of an exciting new instrument called SAMI (the Sydney Australian Astronomical Observatory Multi-object Integral Field Spectrograph) has commissioned a successful upgrade and has collected spatially resolved spectra for hundreds of galaxies over the last couple weeks! 

Sam Richards with the original SAMI (right) and the upgraded SAMI2 (left), with the AAT behind.

i'm excited to start attacking all this new galaxy data!

a galaxy and its hydrogen alpha velocity maps from individual SAMI optical fibers (center) and smoothed from multiple pointings (right) (Credit: Lisa Fogarty)


Tim Connors said...

From the webcam images at the time, at least over the mountain it looked to be a fairly cool fire.

There are forests full of dead trees on places like Mt Field West in Tasmania, Kosciuszko NP etc that never recovered - sometimes decades on. I'm guessing because they burnt too hot, in a rather unnatural way. Humanity really is screwing up this country. In the previous 40000 years, we didn't lose entire forests to fire like this.

heroineworshipper said...

With most astronomy based on the mighty spectrum, there must be a competition to create longer & longer names to differentiate every new spectrograph.

Chuck said...

The cool climate eucalypts can't recover from fire as well as the warm ones can.

Amanda, does that spectrum mean that the galaxy is spinning towards us on the right?

Sakib said...

It's so great to see rapid recovery, bring on the science!!