Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Chile and Windy Winter Night

BDNYC in da House! This is my third trip to LCO, but my first time teaching someone else how to use the instruments on the Baade telescope. My partner-in-crime for this run is Victoria DiTomasso, who recently graduated from CUNY with her BA in physics this May. We have two nights and are planning to use FIRE, the NIR spectrograph, and Fourstar, a NIR imager, to observe some awesome brown dwarfs.

Victoria and I outside of El Pino

My journey to LCO started with a sad amount of sleep for me on the long flight from NYC, but no worries I immediately passed out on the SCL-LSC flight surrounded by a family with so many children. While I waited for the flight from SCL-LSC we found a few other astronomers that were going to Las Campanas as well, making our new group woman dominated- 4 female astronomers and one male astronomer. My adviser said we'd be the only women on the mountain, but ha we are not! I have never been the only woman on the mountain, since our research group runs deep in amazing women.

As stated by twitter, the IBMT or 
the itty-bitty Magellan Telescope

When we arrived in La Serena we had to wait a few hours before we could go up the mountain. While we waited we got to explore a little of El Pino and found a cool scale model of the GMT. After that we took a walk to get some empanadas and enjoyed the warm sun and fairly nice weather, the last to be seen of  until Monday when we come down (the weather of course, I am sooooo looking forward to empanada Sunday!).

The first night on the mountain was supposed to be the night I worked on switching over to the night schedule by staying up late.  But because I was so exhausted from the lack of sleep on my flight my plan of action changed. Instead of trying to stay up late, I went for trying to sleep in as late as possible. Sucess! I made it to 12 and a half hours of sleep! Yea for naptime!

The winds sometime at the start of the night. Gusts of 58 mph! Most of the day was like this, but slightly less windy.

The selection of teas. There is one made of a plant that I have
never heard of, which will definitely be my next cup!

After lunch on our first night of observing (today!) we went up to do calibrations and a telescope photoshoot. Check out Victoria's blog post for those photos! The photo that I really should have taken was one of me and the wind. No lie I was blowing away! I hoped for the wind to die down over the day not only for my safety as a tiny person, but for good observing. While I showed the telescopes to Victoria we could feel the wind pushing our tiny little blue car, so you get the picture.

Mars is keeping warm and staying hydrated 
while we wait out these winds!

As the sun set we knew that we would be in for a long night. The night so far has been observing the tea selection (oh so many!) while we wait for the high winds to die down.

Hoping the weather gets better but the TO said it looks bad for the next two days aka our entire run  :( Luckily, its still early on in the night. Updates to come tomorrow as we start night two of the run!

No comments:

Post a Comment