Later this week I'll be heading up Mauna Kea for a few nights of observing at the telescope I work for, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. Safety protocols specify that there must always be a least two people up at the telescope due to the possibility of severe health problems in the low-pressure atmosphere, and most of the time the role of the second person (after the telescope operator) is played by a visiting astronomer. This particular week, for whatever reason, we ended up with a four-day hole in the schedule with no one scheduled to come, so a few of us at work were asked if we wanted to observe. I was (and am) quite excited to spend two nights watching the telescope in action, so I jumped at the chance. I expect it'll be a useful learning opportunity for me to see how the data I monitor for quality each day gets made the night before.
I'll be going up on Wednesday to acclimate, then observing Thursday and Friday nights. I'd like to do what I did before and write a blog post throughout one or possibly both nights as a log of my observing, so hopefully that (or those) will be up by the end of the week. Very exciting! A hui hou!