Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-29

SA: Alexei
SO: Veronica
Others: Fred, Janus, Lisa, Luke, Oleg and Tamara for a while.

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Summary
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=> Some observations during first hour. Were closed by humidity after that.

=> Some data were taken for the following programs:
2013-2-RSA_DC_OTH-001 (P1)
2013-2-RSA-003 (P1, ToO)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-28

SA: Lisa
SO: Veronica
Others: Eddy, Janus, Luke

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Another Fantastic dark, clear night! Just enough cirrus to yield great seeing, we had sub-arcsec images on the HRS guider for several hours :)

Data taken for various HRS proposals for next semester:
* 2014-1-UKSC-005, P2 & P3: fundamental properties of peculiar hot subdwarfs
* 2014-1-UKSC-002, P2, 2xP3: rapid oscillations in chemically peculiar stars
* 2014-1-HET_UC-001, P1: data to confirm the presence of an Earth-mass planet around our nearest stellar neighbour
* 2014-1-RSA_OTH-017, P2: stellar & wind parameters of OB donor stars in high mass X-ray binaries
* 2014-1-POL_RSA_AMNH-001, P1: searching for lithium in symbiotic giants with massive white dwarf companions
* 2014-1-UNC-002, P1: gaseous disks around white dwarf stars

Finished up with sky flats & now need sunglasses as we head down for breakfast!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-27

SA: Alexei
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa, Luke

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Summary
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A really beautiful, clear, dark photometric night with good seeing. RSS is still out of action so it was HRS all the way! :)

Data obtained for a few remaining HRS SV proposals:
* 2013-2-HET-006: exoplanet transit study
* 2013-2-UC-003: giant branch star in a globular cluster
* 2013-2-UKSC-013: a bright "veiled" G0V binary system
* 2013-2-UW-006: studying emission lines in a quiescent nova

& then various HRS targets for the new semester:
* 2014-1-UKSC-005, P2 & P3: fundamental properties of peculiar hot subdwarfs
* 2014-1-HET_UKSC_OTH-001, P3: precision elements for the hydrogen-deficient binary DY Cen
* 2014-1-UKSC-001, P1: characterising rapidly varying A-type stars
* 2014-1-UW-005, P3: accretion dynamics in pre-main sequence binaries

& assorted calibrations for all modes
* radial velocity standards
* sky flats

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-26

SA: Alexei
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa

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Summary
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=> Lost entire night to high humidity

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-25

SA: Alexei
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa, Paul and Keith for some time

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Summary
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=> Clear, beautiful night early on, but with a lot of different technical problems.
Data were taken for some RSS programs:
2013-2-RSA-003 (P1, ToO)
2013-2-GU-001 (P1)
Then switched to HRS & took data for:
2013-2-UC-003 (SV)
2014-1-UKSC-005 (P2)
2014-1-POL_RSA_AMNH-001 (P2)
Before ending up in thick cloud!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-24

SA: Alexei
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa, Luke

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Summary
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=> Lost entire night to high humidity

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-23

SA: Alexei
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa, Luke

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Summary
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- did not open tonight due to high humidity and heavy clouds

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-22

SA: Paul
SO: Veronica
Others: Luke, Alexei, Lisa

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- did not open tonight due to high humidity

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-21

SA: Paul
SO: Veronica
Others: Luke & Lisa, + Hamish, Amanda, Andy & Carel for a visit

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Summary
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RSS is offline & we were plagued by cloud all night, but HRS is alive & well so we managed to observe a few HRS targets in the gaps. These included a transiting exoplanet Target of Opportunity (with standards & calibrations) from the HRS Science Verification queue, + the first fully-charged HRS science observations when we got the jump on some new proposals for the coming semester...

Data were taken for:

* 2013-2-HET-006 - HRS ToO
* 2014-1-RSA_OTH-017 - HRS x2
* 2013-2-RSA_OTH-023 - HRS

Monday, April 21, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-20

SA: Paul
SO: Veronica
Others: Luke, Lisa

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Summary
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- thin clouds at the start of the night which cleared off. seeing was sub-1.5'' for most of the night.
- we experienced a technical issue which closed us down just after 01:00 and we did not open again.

- obtained data for the following programs:
- 2013-2-RU-001 P3
- 2013-2-IUCAA_OTH-002 P0
- 2013-2-IUCAA_UW-001 P3
- 2013-2-UW-004 P2
- 2013-2-UNC_RSA_RU-001 P3
- 2013-2-RSA_RU_UC_UKSC_OTH-001 P3

Why we Love optics!

There's been plenty of action to report on lately, but not nearly enough time to blog it up!  So for now here's a cool movie clip showing the RSS disperser area - open to the world during the early hours of the morning while we were having trouble with the instrument.  One of the volume phase holographic gratings (left) was being illuminated at different angles with a flash-light & this makes the light change colour, as seen when it reaches the first lens of the collimator doublet (to the right of the open shutter).

video

We have much good news to report for HRS (& the coffee machine!), but those posts will take a bit longer so watch this space...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-19

SA: Paul
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa, Luke

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- struggled with cloud at the beginning of the night, could not observe for a while. it cleared and turned out to be a good night.

- obtained data for the following programs:
- 2013-2-RSA_DC_OTH-001 P1
- 2013-2-IUCAA_OTH-002 P0
- 2013-2-UKSC-009 P2
- 2013-2-RSA_RU_UC_UKSC_OTH-001 P3
- 2013-2-IUCAA_OTH-001 P3
- 2014-1-RSA-003 P3

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-18

SA: Paul
SO: Veronica
Others: Luke, Lisa, Eddy

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- we had thin cloud until 02:00 which made target acquisition difficult with the bright moon. attempted a couple of targets, but could not successfully acquire them.
- did pointing engineering observations when we had gaps in the queue.
- the seeing was good, mostly below 1.5''
- reconstruction of the HRS thermal enclosure was completed tonight & the stulz aircon was switched on just after midnight to begin stabilizing the temperature of the HRS inner room

- obtained data for the following programs:
- 2013-2-RU-001 (supernova follow-up observations) P3
- 2013-2-RSA_OTH-003

Friday, April 18, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-17

SA: Paul
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa, Luke, Eric, Keith

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- not a very productive night. had some clouds around the start of the night. had quite a bit of tech issues tonight as well. seeing was pretty good the whole evening.
- initial HRS tests this evening shows that all is fine and it should be ready for science soon.

- obtained data for the following programs:
- 2013-2-HET_OTH-001 (supernova follow-up) P0
- 2013-2-IUCAA_UW-001 (studying QSOs) x2 P2
- 2013-2-RSA_OTH-003 (spectroscopy of candidate Luminous Blue Variable (cLBV) stars) P2

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-16

SA: Paul
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa, Luke, Eric

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Summary
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- a clear night with relatively high humidity. the seeing was bad for the first half or so of the night which made some observations difficult.

- we obtained data for the following programs:
- 2013-2-RSA_OTH-003 (spectroscopy of candidate Luminous Blue Variable (cLBV) stars) x3 P2
- 2014-1-RSA-003 (spectroscopy of ultracool dwarfs stars and brown dwarfs) x2 P3
- 2013-2-RSA-003 (long slit spectroscopy of a gamma-ray binary system) P1
- 2013-2-GU-001 (studying the continuum and emission-line profile variations in a Seyfert I galaxy) P1
- 2013-2-DC_RSA-001 (a Target of Opportunity (ToO) observation of a supernova) P0
- 2013-2-RSA_OTH_UKSC-003 (monitoring the H-alpha emission line of a Be/X-ray binary) P4

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-15

SA: Hannah
SO: Thea
Others: Steve C, Lisa, Eric, Paul, Amanda, Andy, Luke

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No observations due to wet weather.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-14

SA: Hannah
SO: Thea
Others:

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No observations due to wet weather.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-13

SA: Hannah
SO: Thea
Others: Steve C, Eddy, Lisa, Luke

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A cloudy night in the Karoo.

2013-2-RSA_DC_OTH-001 (Reverberation mapping with SALT) P2
TOO-RUSN-PSNJ1157

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-12

SA: Hannah
SO: Thea
Others: Steve C, Luke

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Summary
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2013-2-RSA-005 (Radial velocity monitoring of two Wolf-Rayet nuclei of planetary nebulae) P3
2013-2-RSA_OTH-003 (Confirming the LBV status of spectroscopically selected candidate LBV stars) P2
2013-2-RSA_POL-001 (In search of missing Galactic symbiotic stars) P4
2013-2-RSA_OTH_UKSC-003 (Mass transfer in Be X-ray binaries) P4
2013-2-HET-004 (Searching for low mass stars in Ruprecht 147) P2
2013-2-UC-002 (Abundance studies of evolved stars of globular clusters using Multi-Object Spectroscopy) P2
2013-2-UKSC-007 (SALT RSS observations of Luminous Red Novae) P3
2013-2-RSA_OTH-003 (Confirming the LBV status of spectroscopically selected candidate LBV stars) P3

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-11

SA: Hannah
SO: Thea
Others: Janus, Steve C, Lisa, Luke

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Twelve spectroscopic observations on a bright night that started out cloudy. Observer got her MOS wings - MOS acquisition time down to 15 minutes. :)

2013-2-RSA_OTH_UKSC-003 (Mass transfer in Be X-ray binaries) P4
2013-2-AMNH-002 (Scavenging in the Deep End) P4
2013-2-RSA_POL-001 (In search of missing Galactic symbiotic stars) P4
2013-2-RSA_OTH-003 (Confirming the LBV status of spectroscopically selected candidate LBV stars) P2
2013-2-IUCAA_UW-001 (Investigating FeLoBAL/LoBAL Variability Constraints from Multi Year Monitoring) P3
2013-2-UC-002 (Abundance studies of evolved stars of globular clusters using Multi-Object Spectroscopy) P2
2013-2-RU-004 (Investigating the H alpha Emission of a Bow Shock in SN1006) P2

Friday, April 11, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-10

SA: Hannah
SO: Thea
Others: Janus, Lisa, Steve C

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A bright night of engineering tests, long-slit and multi-object spectroscopy and "Scavenging in the Deep End".

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-09

SA: Hannah
SO: Thea
Others: Steve C, Janus, Luke, Eddy, Johan, David, Lisa

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Good, clear skies all night. Observed a galaxy, a quasar, a globular cluster, a selection of stars and a mystery object!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-08

SA: �ric
SO: Veronica
Others: Hannah, Lisa, Luke, Eddy

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Night plagued with technical problems that prevented us from using RSS.
We then tried to observe Omega Cen for a high speed program, but technical problem came once again, and we could not proceed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-07

SA: �ric
SO: Veronica
Others:

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Overall very good night. Started with clouds before sunset, and they magically disappeared.
We have observed the following programs:
2013-2-DC-003 : Observations of obscured Quasars
2013-2-IUCAA-UW-001 : Observation of quasars (x2)
2013-2-DC-RSA-001 : Target of Opportunity for a supernova
2013-2-RSA-004 : Observation of galaxies at intermediate redshift
2013-2-POL-003 : Spectroscopic observation of an asteroid and a calibration star
2013-2-HET-002 : Observation of a planetary nebula
And lots of spectrophotometric standards

Monday, April 7, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-06

SA: �ric
SO: Veronica
Others:

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A good beginning of the night, with clear sky and good seeing. But then, later during the night, clouds came, and we stopped observing.

Observation of the following:
2013-2-UW-RSA-001 : Observations of high redshift galaxies
2013-2-IUCAA-UW-001 :Observations of absorption lines in quasars
2013-2-RSA-004 : Observations of pairs of galaxies, at redshift 0.4
2013-2-RSA-OTH-UKSC-001 : Observations of faint X-ray sources
2013-2-IUCAA-001 : simultaneous observation of quasars and nearby galaxy

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-05

SA: �ric
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa

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Clear night, with no trace of clouds. The seeing was not so good (peaks at 4.5 have been seen) until the wind started to blow from the East. The humidity went spectacularly down, and the seeing improved dramatically.
We observed the following projects:

2013-2-POL-003 : spectroscopic study of an asteroid
2013-2-UNC-RSA-RU-001 : spectroscopic study of low surface brightness galaxies
2013-2-RSA-003 : observations of a binary system over a long period of time, in order to monitor how it evolves when the objects are at the closest
2013-2-RSA-004 : Spectroscopic study of Galaxies in interactions.
2013-2-RSA-OTH-UKSC-003 : Observations of X-Ray binaries.
2013-2-AMNH-002 : Observation of M dwarfs
2013-2-RSA-OTH-003 : Observation of some of the most luminous stars known : the Luminous Blue Variable. They may end-up in supernovae.
2013-2HET-004 : Another program dedicated to the study of M dwarfs stars.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-04

SA: �ric
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa

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A good first of the night, then humidity came, and forced us to close for the rest of the night.

2013-2-RSA_DC_OTH-001 : Observation of the echo of the light emitted by the center of a galaxy, to understand the true nature of the black hole
2013-2-POL-003: Spectroscopic observations of an asteroid. The movement of the asteroid during the exposure time allow for a time monitoring.

2013-2-DC-003 : Observation of black holes and quasars

Friday, April 4, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-03

SA: �ric
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa

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Another night completely lost to humidity.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-02

SA: �ric
SO: Veronica
Others: Lisa

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All night loss to bad weather: high humidity, high wind.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Night Log 2014-04-01

SA: Encarni
SO: Thea
Others:

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Entire night lost to poor weather. :(

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Night Log 2014-03-31

SA: Encarni
SO: Thea
Others: Lisa and Eric to play with HRS.

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The night started cirrussy with varying degree of cloud cover, clearing around midnight-ish with decent seeing but forcing us to close at 4:30am due to high humidity.

Science data for:
2013-2-RSA_DC_OTH-001 (monitoring of an active galaxy to determine the mass of the supermassive black hole in its centre) P2
2013-2-IUCAA_UW-001 (time variability studies of low inonization broad absorption line quasars) P2
2013-2-UW_RSA-001 (obtaining redshifts from galaxies with hydrogen radio emission) P2
2013-2-RSA_OTH_UKSC-003 (monitoring hydrogen emission from Be/X-ray binaries) P4 x2
2013-2-IUCAA-001 (observing quasar galaxy pairs as a probe for the high-redshift interstellar medium) P3 x2
2013-2-RSA-003 (Dynamics of the circumstellar disc in a binary system during periastron) P1
2013-2-HET-001 (deep spectrum of the central star of a planetary nebula) P3