An exhausting, productive day

TV Interviews outside Gran Telescopio Canarias, Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma
April 26, 2017

Yesterday I left home at 8 am for the observatory. The first group was routine, including overrunning by 10 minutes so I only just had time to eat a banana before the next group. I’d just started the second group when a car pulled up and the driver said, “We’re the crew from Canary TV that the island council organised.” Excuse me, WHAT? One frantic phone call later, I did…

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Trappist-1 and it’s 7 dwarves

Well squee! NASA announced that the little star TRAPPIST-1 has 7 rocky planets, ranging in size from 40% to 140% of Earth’s mass. They’re all very close to the star, closer than Mercury is to our own Sun, but TRAPPIST-1 is an ultracool dwarf star, with a surface temperature of perhaps 2,500 ºC. Our sun is about 5,500 ºC. This means that several of the planets are in the Goldilocks…

February 23, 2017
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My Busy Week

Ravens on the roof of my car outside Gran Telescopio Canarias, -Roque de Los Muchacos, Garafia
January 5, 2017

I’m not sure what I was thinking of when I agreed to work from Monday to Friday this week. I let myself slip way behind with paperwork and now I have to catch up. Besides, I’m self employed and the new year means setting up new spreadsheets. It’s not as if any of these jobs are particularly long or difficult, just that there’s a lot of them. Also my cleaner…

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Plan K

Rainbow on the wy tot he Cumbre tunnel, BrenaAlta, La Palma
October 27, 2016

I spent quote a lot of time organising a visit for a large group (55!) of high school students. They’re Erasmus exchange students on an astronomy-related trip, some from Tenerife (the hosts) some from Poland, and some from Slovenia. The main point of their visit to La Palma was to see GTC, but they were going to be on La Palma all day, so what else could they see? So…

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The ravens are back

October 5, 2016

I saw very little of the ravens over the summer. I think they were so many tourists with tasty food that they didn’t need me, thank you so very much. Now that it’s getting colder there are fewer ham sandwiches and almond biscuits to be had. Yesterday, my bag of cat food was back in demand. First they ate from my hands, as usual, and flew off. Then one came…

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Bikers

Today’s visit to Gran Telescopio Canarias was a bit different. Most of the group were bikers from Gran Canaria. It made for a good photo op as they left.

September 9, 2016
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