Antarctic Astronomy Diaries 2003/04


05 December 2003
08 December 2003
11 December 2003
12 December 2003
13 December 2003
14 December 2003
15 December 2003
19 December 2003
20 December 2003
23 December 2003
24 December 2003
25 December 2003
29 December 2003
30 December 2003
31 December 2003
01 January 2004
03 January 2004
04 January 2004
07 January 2004
08 January 2004
12 January 2004
14 January 2004
16 January 2004
18 January 2004
19 January 2004
22 January 2004
25 January 2004
26 January 2004
27 January 2004
29 January 2004
30 January 2004
01 February 2004
03 February 2004

Friday, January 30, 2004

Two days fully orchestrated by work. Jon was working full time on the MASS, an exciting job consisting of making dots on our TFT monitor to track the motion of the star, a technique that I passed on to him after having learnt it from Eric. Our later character has finally crossed the line of sanity. He came in this morning with only half of this face shaved. I guess it would be a great time for him to make passport photos, showing simultaneously two versions of himself. Antarctica is the ideal place if you want to try a new hair cut. If it doesn't suits you there won't be too many people to complain about it. Thank god, Eric promised to shave the other half by the time we get to Hobart.

In the mean time Colin has developed a fixation for cable trays. I gave him a tour of the Concordia station still in construction. As we passed the storage room he noticed some cable trays lying in the ground. Thinking of how great they would look in the AASTINO, we asked the authorization to take to back with us. The next morning he had them installed on the ceiling of the building. Jon and I admitted that it did look very classy; every cable lined up and tied to the tray. It was so strongly attached to the structure of the building that they can even sustain my weight. It's a shame we don't have monkeys to hang them on. Inevitably, Colin asked me to go back to Concordia to negotiate more trays. I came back a few minutes later with a whole bunch of trays with different size and shape. The AASTINO has now cable trays on almost every wall, and if you look at the ceiling of the building it looks like a railway network.

My job has been to get a few of the scripts working and install ICECAM, a camera that will take pictures of the sky during the winter to see if there are any clouds. This instrument is battery powered and is independent from the AASTINO. It's kind of our plan B. If the AASTINO fails during the winter we will at least have its data to show that we are not complete failures. Of course, this is assuming that I can get Icecam to work. When I installed its hard-drive, it complained that the operating system was missing. This problem is unexpected as it was tested in Sydney before arriving at Dome C with Jon and Colin. My guess is that this is a hardware problem ( a dodgy connection) but even smashing the computer against the cable tray didn't help it work. Tomorrow I'll see if dropping it from the 30m tower helps.

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