Thursday, April 24, 2014

News from the Joint Astronomy Centre

You probably haven't heard unless you're one of a small number of radio astronomer associated with the JCMT, but the JCMT has been closed since last Thursday with a busted wheel. Specifically, it's one of the massive wheels that the entire telescope rests and turns on (called “bogies,” for what reason no one could tell me). According to Engineering we've got a replacement part being fabricated which should be ready by Thursday, though it might take a little while to get installed even if all goes according to schedule.

On the UKIRT front, it's been an open secret for some months now that UKIRT is going to be taken over by new owners. The legal process involved has taken a long time to resolve, so while it has been virtually certain that the management of UKIRT was going to be taken over by a consortium between Lockheed Martin and the University of Arizona, we haven't been at liberty to officially announce it. This morning the local Hilo paper, The Hawaii Tribune, ran a story about it, so while it's still not been officially announced, it is out in the wild and I now have permission to talk about it. Which I've just done, so there you have it.

Just because JCMT is closed doesn't mean I have nothing to do, as I still have several projects I'm working on. A week without new observations coming in has helped me get caught up on the task I've recently taken over of monitoring the flow of observation files from JCMT to the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) where all our data is archived (along with the data from many other telescopes). Plenty to keep me busy around here!

Edit (4/24/2014): And here's a link to the Hawaii Tribune article I mentioned earlier.

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