Monday, November 14, 2011

Moon rocks!

Saturday I went up for a summit tour and stayed to volunteer because it was the University Astrophysics Club night, and the sky was actually clear after a week of clouds and rain. And I'm glad I did, because not only was I able to image four different objects (while instructing a fellow student in the operation of the imager), but some people from NASA who were there running some tests showed up with a real moon rock in a box, and a real astronaut too!

To say that the crowd was excited was be a gross understatement. (And of course they brought the moon rock on the day I decided not to bring my camera.) A lot of the students from the UAC got to talk to the astronaut too, which from what I heard was the highlight of their evening. I'd write more about it, but I'm rather tired tonight, and was actually outside taking care of things for a good portion of the time they were there.

One reason I'm tired is that I just finished an 18-page, multi-megabyte document going over the data reduction process to create pictures from the images captured by the imaging telescope (yes, collecting the data is only about half the work). I've learned a bit about data reduction over the months, so I'd like to be able to pass on my knowledge to anyone else interested in learning to use the imager who comes after me.

Anyway, I should really get to bed now.

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