The TV program with me at the observatory

June 3, 2017

I can’t believe I never posted this. Back in April I was surprised to find a TV crew joining one of my groups at the observatory. This is the program – only n Spanish, but there’s some good footage of the big telescope and of the observatory. I’m not so sure about the redhead with the terrible accent, though. The gastronomy at the end is from Hacienda de Abajo. If…

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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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Foundations for the Large Sized Telescope

Digging foundations for the Large Size Telescope, Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma 17/08/2016
August 17, 2016

  The digger’s started wotk on the foundations for the Large Size Telescope I gather the plan is to dig down 3 m, which is less than I’d thought for such a big structure. But the the MAGIC telescope is very light for its size, so perhaps the LST will be too. Cross posted to http://lapalma-island.com

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Butterfly

Butterfly on a T shirt
August 13, 2016

Today I was doing my talk on the heliport, and this butterfly landed on a guest’s T shirt. I think it thought it was a flower. You can see the butterfly’s long tongue, looking for nectar.

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