Friday, November 03, 2006

Maui, Part 18?

I've been writing up a log of my observations for my thesis and records. It's somewhat amazing. I've been over here something like 20 times for 40-50 nights on the telescope. Maybe this isn't surprising to some, but if you knew what astronomers really did, you'd be surprised. Most faculty write proposals so that they can get 1-3 nights of time each semester. They spend the rest of their time 1) processing it, 2) arguing with other people about it, 3) giving talks about how wonderful they are, or 4) writing more proposals for another 1-3 nights. It's funny to me that I've had so many nights over here. Basically everybody at the IfA is into galaxies/cosmology. Not all, but most. I think only 2 or 3 do stellar spectroscopy. This instrument is built for high-resolution on bright targets. Basically it was so broke before (and somewhat still) that nobody wanted it, and nobody paid to have an instrument person fix/maintain it. Result: I get 50 nights in 3 years when most grad students get just a few. Go figure.

Anyways, the weather is junk (high clouds in those pictures are great for art, horrible for astronomy). I'll be spending another all-nighter writing code. Goodie.


Blogger Liz said...

hmm... talking about how wonderful they are. It's amazing how many people make a career out of that.

10:15 AM  

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