Sucker Holes

I've been without both an internet connection and - even more importantly - a power supply for my computer, since Friday night so have been unable to add anything here until now.

On Friday night we decided to make a two dimensional map of 3C 345; a quasar which is very compact compared to the resolution we have. Ideally the map should look very boring with just a 'dot' in the middle but in reality our 'beam' will add some extra features - think of it like imperfect eyesight.

At the frequency we use, we are susceptible to water vapour so when some comes by, it makes our signal go crazy. Unfortunately this is what happened on Friday night. What was most annoying was that there would be clear patches when we would think it was safe to start and then once we had, it would get bad again. A variation of Murphy's Law, these are usually called "sucker holes" in optical astronomy; you are a sucker to think the weather might be improving only for it to cloud over again. By 1am we finally decided that it was hopeless so went to bed.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 27th Jun 2004 (22:39 UTC) | Permalink
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