Jeff Miller from St. Lawrence University here, giving you the scoop from the 4th UAT workshop in Arecibo. This is my 6th trip here to the observatory, and it’s always a fascinating experience. Here’s a page with the photos I’m taking on this trip.
On Jan. 17, I got up at 5am to go to the last observing session at 6pm. Becky walked me through the shutdown and end of night procedures. I’ve done it before, but each time it gets a bit easier. This morning (the 18th) Aileen O’Donoghue and I went to the first observing session to practice the startup procedures. Rose Finn and Eric Wilcots came along as well. I decided to stay up and get some work done before the session started. Plenty of time to sleep later!
We arrived in the control room at 1 am, 30 minutes before the observing was to start. Lots of time, no rush – until it was time to sit down at the keyboard. Aileen’s reading me the instructions, and suddenly it all looks alien. While trying to sort out the various screens, I hear Ann, who is patiently watching from the sidelines that I don’t screw up, quietly say “15 seconds…”. Oh, yeah – time to get my rear in gear.
Once we started, things went very smoothly. I could tell this, because Ann had started to ignore me. The students in the control took their turn editing the log, and then the next group came in. We explained what was going on with all the displays, and then they took their turn.
Before heading out, I took the second group outside to see the Southern Cross and Saturn. It was humid, but clear – much nicer than Northern New York! I got back to my room about 3:30am, and fell asleep about 4am: 23 hours later. I haven’t done that in a long time. 4 hours of sleep, and I’m ready to go for another day.
Sleep is so over rated.