Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A surprise visit to Parkes

I had a quick and unexpected trip to Parkes this weekend. I wasn't expecting to be going but Dunc and Maura had managed to get hold of the director's time during the weekend. As they're in the US and John was busy I volunteered to cover the observations. Luckily I managed to get a car and a room in the lodge despite only having a day's notice.

The Parkes telescope during a slew The Parkes telescope during a slew

I arrived on Friday evening and found that the Italian contingent were doing their polarisation survey that requires the dish to make repeated slews across the sky. Above-left is a 60 second integration (sorry, exposure in camera speak) taken towards the end of one of the slews. The scene is lit by the nearly-full Moon at the bottom left of the picture. I took several other photos (e.g. above-right) that were more carefully composed but that first one is still my favourite.

I left on Sunday evening and had a very quick drive back through the night. There were a few close encounters of the roo-kind but thankfully no collisions.

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