So Edo had to make a blog for his summer project and as part of it he did this, which, I admit, is berlusconic genius :-
Apart from that I was pleased to see that he had also got videos of one of the most important people in getting the telescope up and running, that is Bill Luckhurst. Bill is our research technician, he maintains the sensitive equipment the serious experimentalists in our group use, the only part of it that I really understand is that he maintains the scanning electron microscope which is used by all the nano people so they can figure out what they are doing. They’re all doing very small stuff, so they all need to use this device quite often. But I know for a fact he does a lot more than that, because basically people ask him to do whatever stuff they can’t do, LIKE ME. I always felt a bit conscious of recording him for the blog but luckily Edo didn’t mind, and since this blog is a record of the dome being brought back into use, I’m pleased we have these, you can see them at the bottom of this post.
Meanwhile, we’ve been trying to make the rotation more reliable, it does OK, but it keeps catching at certain points. We’ve been experimenting with different springs etc etc… We’ve also made progress getting the dome to track the telescope, but that’s for later.
With regards to observations, we’ve been out, but there are no planets at this time of the year apart from Saturn close to the horizon. In London we can forget anything close to the horizon, the people at the widescreen centre who supply our gear tell us to forget anything less than 20 degrees, and if you see how Saturn jumps around on our screen when you try to image it in its current position you can’t disagree. We’ve got the filters up and running but since then we haven’t had any good nights, we’ve had cloudless nights but not without a thin veil of high altitude cloud which means we can’t see any galaxies or nebulae, so no action. During these failures we are figuring out how to work things a bit better though, so when we do actually have good seeing I hope we will have stuff to share with you.
In the mean time, here are some videos from Edo (i.e. I’m not responsible) of Bill:-