Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Clouds, rain, volcanos, and a real user

Plenty of moisture in the air is turning the desert greener and into a better place this week. At some point a trail of clouds formed over Baboquivari, making it almost look like a volcano. This is not the prime time for observers.

Bad bad sky conditions cannot stop us from making progress though. The first member of the ODI Commissioning Working Group, Jenna Ryon from UW Madison, is visiting us at WIYN this week, and she is the first user to come in contact with the instrument without any prior knowledge. While we have not opened the dome this week yet, she is testing the user interfaces and tries to make sense out of the early documentation. This process does not produce great looking deep-sky images (although Jenna is very proficient in creating dome flats by now!), but is fundamental to the transition of ODI towards regular operations. Based on the telescope operator's and Jenna's feedback I am now busy updating the procedures and manuals. I still hope we will get on sky this week.

Writing documents - that's what astronomers really do at night.


Clouds over Baboquivari

Jenna Ryon from UW Madison is the first outside user of pODI. 

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