Saturday, 29 June 2013

Why we don't image below 30 degrees

We generally don't take images with Galaxy Cam lower than 30 degrees above the horizon. The reason for this is that on some nights there can be a lot of haze (and this is difficult to reliably detect). A picture I took last night with my camera demonstrates the effect this has on seeing.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

An Example of the Usual Maintainence Insanity

It's hard to get across just how hard it is to maintain the BRT and keep it running smoothly. The system is so immensely complex that when something starts acting funny, its almost impossible to work out what's gone wrong. I'd like to share what we did today to try and diagnose a big problem with the telescope.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Cleaning Telescope Optics

One of the challenges associated with operating a telescope in an area which is both incredibly dry and desert-like (under the normal baking sun), but also with the potential to be very damp (when the site is inside a cloud) is that there is a combination of dust and condensation, which covers the correction plate of the telescope in a thick layer of dirt. This needs to be cleaned off regularly.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Telescope question time!

Do you have anything you want to know about the telescope site? At the end of this week is the annual open doors day here at the IAC (and this is part of the reason we are here for these particular weeks). For two days all the telescopes open up and tour groups are lead around to see what they do. In the spirit of this, we want to know if any of our users have anything they want to know?

Service trip begins

Today was the first day on site for the summer service trip and also my first time at the observatory.