Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Here We Go Again!

So our egg decorating efforts paid off - the whole team has returned!  Pity Paul didn't stay longer, but now we have Sean Ryan (the project's Scientific Advisor) joining us for about a week.  Here's his primary mirror mugshot!  Welcome Sean:)

Jürgen's sporting a classic all-in-one summer ensemble this time round - beautifully accessorised with a designer fore-optics baffle that's custom-anodised & stylishly finished with thousands of M2 cap screws festooning all the edges...

David should feel extremely proud of his dazzling creation which fits perfectly & takes nothing but stray light away from the gorgeous optics of Her Royal Spectrographness.

Hannes popped by just in time for a quick tour before we closed up the tank...

With the baffle installed, Eddy & Jürgen did a quick focus run to check that everything still looked ok.

Happy with the results, it was time to fire up the vacuum pump & chase all the air out of the tank.

Then for re-installing all the styrofoam floor panels!

A non-trivial & fairly entertaining exercise :)

Everything only just fits & some minor alterations were required to accommodate new cables & pipes that weren't in place when we first tried out all the panels.

So as not to tempt fate, we only built up the first two layers of the grey styrostone (super-sized LEGO for pseudo-grown-ups) that will eventually enclose the whole tank.  

Back up after dinner with a promising-looking sky & time for Sean's first encounter with The Astronomer's Hat.  Generous of Ray to give that up without too much of a fight...

For all the fans wondering whatever happened to Luke?  Well - he's Still Here, the poor guy's now into his 11th straight week up on the hill, the only one to not have left here for more than 3 days at a time.  He's still coding bravely & has yet to go postal on us, but we're keeping a close eye on him just in case ;)

The sun came up 15 minutes ago & although we were sorely tempted to shoot a few quick twilight flats, the threat of the truly horrendous sun-alarm blaring at us at this point was enough to make us pack up & head down the hill.  Good night!

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