Teething troubles

After breakfast at lunch time, Clive and I went up to our dome to setup the camera on the side of the telescope. We are not actually using the 1m mirror, just using the mounting to move our smaller instrument. It seems like a waste but ours is better for what we are doing.

This evening we did a lot of setting up and ran in to problems with our CCD camera (basically a fancier version of the thing that makes a digital camera work). For some reason the computer software was not cooling the chip like it should have been doing. After several house Clive finally discovered that it was a problem with the software. I was worrying that I might have bashed it during our flight as it came in my hand luggage. Luckily it didn't as they cost several thousand pounds.

By the time we had sorted out that problem, the cloud had come in and it was even difficult to spot Mars. Also the wind had got up to 60kph which is the limit for using the dome so we certainly couldn't do anything.

So in bad south african weather we came back to the lounge in the observatory hostel to play pool, read some papers and check email. The outlook for Cape Town for the next few days doesn't look promising either. A long range forecast I saw earlier on seemed to claim that it would be sunny next week.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Wednesday 17th Sep 2003 (08:54 UTC) | Permalink
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