Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-30

SA: �ric
SO: Thea
Others:

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Summary
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Great night. No problem at all, the observations ran very smoothly from the beginning of the night until late into the twilight. Weather was very cooperative tonight, with clouds disappearing relatively rapidly.

We could observe a lot of different programs and we gathered data for the following programs:

2014-2-SCI-070 P0 RSS (Spectroscopic follow-up of type Ia supernovae discovered by DES to analyse their spectral properties)
2014-2-SCI-003 P2 RSS (Target of opportunity for variable AGN)
2014-2-MLT-001 P2 RSS (Study of the evolution of lenticular galaxies.)
2014-2-SCI-060 P3 RSS (Searching for binaries in unusual central stars of planetary nebulae)
2014-2-SCI-069 P3 SCAM (Rapid photomerty of mCVs with SCAM in slotmode)
2014-2-SCI-017 P3 RSS (Optical preparatory survey for Cold HI 21-cm Absorption Line Survey (CHITALS))
2014-2-SCI-066 P3 RSS (x2) (Finding the redshift and ionization of WISE-selected QSOs)
2014-2-SCI-027 P3 RSS (x2) (Searching for high redshift quasars for the MeerKAT Absorption Line Survey (MALS))
2014-2-MLT-003 P4 RSS (Study, and detailed classification, of a number of proposed very cool astronomical objects)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-29

SA: �ric
SO: Thea
Others: Hitesh over the phone

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Summary
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A fairly productive night, despite the seeing being like yesterday, not so good.

We could gather data for 7 programs, before humidity had us close the telescope.

Data taken for :
2014-2-SCI-027 P1 RSS (Searching for high redshift quasars for the MeerKAT Absorption Line Survey (MALS))
2014-2-SCI-058 P2 HRS (Accretion in Young Binary Star Systems)
2014-2-SCI-078 P2 SCAM (Searching for exoplanets around evolved binary stars)
2014-1-MLT-001 P2 RSS (Observations of supernovae, near and far.)
2014-2-SCI-016 P2 HRS (Investigating the birth and evolution of X-ray binaries through their radial motion.)
2014-2-SCI-060 P3 RSS (Searching for binaries in unusual central stars of planetary nebulae)
2014-2-MLT-003 P4 RSS (x3) (Study, and detailed classification, of a number of proposed very cool astronomical objects)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-28

SA: �ric
SO: Thea
Others:

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Summary
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A fairly productive night. The seeing was mostly not good, but we could get data for the following programs:
2014-2-MLT-005 P0 RSS (x2) (Deriving the mass of the central super-massive black hole in the core of active galaxies)
2014-1-MLT-001 P0 RSS (Observations of supernovae, near and far.)
2014-2-SCI-004 P1 SCAM (Dark energy and the expansion rate of the Universe from quasar monitoring.)
2014-2-MLT-001 P2 RSS (Study of the evolution of lenticular galaxies.)
2014-2-SCI-060 P3 RSS (x2) (Searching for binaries in unusual central stars of planetary nebulae)
2014-2-MLT-003 P4 RSS (x3) (Study, and detailed classification, of a number of proposed very cool astronomical objects)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-27

SA: �ric
SO: Thea
Others:

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Summary
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We could observe at the beginning of the night, but then, humidity forced us to close.
We took advantage of being closed to perform a lot of calibrations for the Fabry-Perot mode of RSS.

We could gather data for the following programs:
2014-2-COM-002 P1 HRS (High resolution spectroscopic obserations of high redshift QSOs)
2014-2-MLT-003 P4 RSS (Study, and detailed classification, of a number of proposed very cool astronomical objects)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-26

SA: �ric
SO: Thea
Others:

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Summary
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Humidity prevented us from opening.
We took advantage of the telescope being closed to finish the calibrations we had started yesterday.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-25

SA: �ric
SO: Thea
Others:

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Summary
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The night started with high humidity, so we took advantage of the telescope being closed to do some calibration for the Fabry-Perot mode.

We could then open and gather data for 3 programs, before having to close again when the humidity rose above our limit.

We gathered data for the following programs :

2014-2-SCI-037 P2 RSS (x2) (Study of the extraplanar diffuse ionized gas properties of galaxies NGC 253 and NGC 3044)
2014-1-MLT-002 P2 RSS (Determining the fraction of Luminous Red Galaxies in merging pairs)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-24

SA: Alexei
SO: Fred
Others: Eric

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Summary
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=> Unstable night with good seeing. Were closed by humidity in the middle of the night and re-open later.

=> Data were taken for the following programs:
2014-2-MLT-001 P2 RSS (Study of the evolution of lenticular galaxies.)
2014-1-MLT-002 P2 RSS (x2) (Determining the fraction of Luminous Red Galaxies in merging pairs)
2014-2-SCI-023 P3 RSS (Time variabilility of the broad absorption line QSOs.)
2014-2-SCI-060 P3 RSS (Searching for binaries in unusual central stars of planetary nebulae)
2014-2-SCI-016 P3 HRS (Investigating the birth and evolution of X-ray binaries through their radial motion.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-23

SA: Alexei
SO: Fred
Others: Deon

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Summary
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=> High humidity and heavy clouds all the night.

=> We were able to make observations during very short period of time with clear sky and humidity just below of the upper limit:
2014-2-SCI-070 P0 RSS (Spectroscopic follow-up of type Ia supernovae discovered by DES to analyse their spectral properties)
2014-2-SCI-016 P2 HRS (Investigating the birth and evolution of X-ray binaries through their radial motion.)

=> Weekly set of HRS calibrations was done

Monday, March 23, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-22

SA: Alexei
SO: Fred
Others: Deon

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Summary
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=> High humidity and heavy clouds. No observations.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-20

SA: Alexei
SO: Fred
Others: Deon and Tamara for a while

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Summary
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=> Unstable night with clouds and moderate seeing. Finally, were closed by heavy clouds.

=> Some data were taken for the following programs:
2014-2-SCI-020 P1 RSS (HRS observations of planetary nebulae and spectra of dwarf tidal galaxies.)
2014-2-SCI-027 P1 RSS (Searching for high redshift quasars for the MeerKAT Absorption Line Survey (MALS))
2014-2-SCI-058 P2 HRS (Accretion in Young Binary Star Systems)
2014-1-MLT-002 P2 RSS (Determining the fraction of Luminous Red Galaxies in merging pairs)
2014-2-SCI-077 P3 HRS (Constraining the orbital ephemeris and the Be disk status of the X-ray Binary GX304-1)
2014-2-SCI-060 P3 RSS (Searching for binaries in unusual central stars of planetary nebulae)
2014-2-SCI-016 P3 HRS (Investigating the birth and evolution of X-ray binaries through their radial motion.)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-19

SA: Alexei
SO: Fred
Others:

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Summary
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=> Another dark stable night with very good seeing. Some technical issues.

=> Data were taken for the following programs:
2014-2-COM-002 P1 HRS (High resolution spectroscopic obserations of high redshift QSOs)
2014-2-SCI-040 P1 RSS (x2) (Superwinds in luminous starburst galaxies)
2014-2-SCI-027 P1 RSS (x2) (Searching for high redshift quasars for the MeerKAT Absorption Line Survey (MALS))
2014-1-MLT-002 P2 RSS (x2) (Determining the fraction of Luminous Red Galaxies in merging pairs)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-18

SA: Alexei
SO: Fred
Others: Keith, Deon, Chris, Ted and Chinese scientists

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Summary
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=> Brilliant stable night with very good seeing. Limited technical issues. 2 ToO blocks were observed.

=> Data taken for the following programs:
2014-1-MLT-003 P1 BVIT (Observe the accretion disc as a white dwarf, neutron star or black hole gobbles up a companion.)
2014-2-SCI-027 P1 RSS (Searching for high redshift quasars for the MeerKAT Absorption Line Survey (MALS))
2014-2-SCI-003 P1 RSS (Target of opportunity for variable AGN)
2014-2-SCI-056 P1 RSS (x2) (Emission line kinematics of RESOLVE galaxies for tracing dark matter)
2014-1-MLT-002 P2 RSS (Determining the fraction of Luminous Red Galaxies in merging pairs)
2014-2-SCI-040 P2 RSS (Superwinds in luminous starburst galaxies)
2014-2-SCI-024 P3 HRS (Evolved binaries in the Magellanic Clouds)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-17

SA: Luke
SO: Veronica
Others: Alexei/Fred for handover, David Buckley with UCLAN guests

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Summary
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Poor seeing and humidity forced an early close, only to re-open again later in the night with better conditions and dark skies. Despite being closed for over 5 hours, managed six blocks with SCAM, RSS Longslit and HRS: 2x P2, 2x P3, 2x P4.

Data taken for:

2014-1-MLT-002 P2 RSS (Determining the fraction of Luminous Red Galaxies in merging pairs)
2014-2-SCI-074 P2 SCAM (Observations of Dwarf Novae in the Large Magellanic Cloud)
2014-2-SCI-045 P3 HRS (Chemical composition determination of LBVs in the Southern Hemisphere.)
2014-2-SCI-060 P3 RSS (Searching for binaries in unusual central stars of planetary nebulae)
2014-1-MLT-007 P4 RSS (x2) (Long term monitoring of circumstellar disk in Be X-ray binaries)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-16

SA: Luke
SO: Veronica
Others:

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Summary
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Spectrophotometric standards before twilight end and a P0 and P2 observation saw a good start to the night, only to be closed early by high humidity.

Data taken for:

2014-2-SCI-058 P0 HRS (Accretion in Young Binary Star Systems)
2014-2-SCI-024 P2 HRS (Evolved binaries in the Magellanic Clouds)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-15

SA: Luke
SO: Veronica
Others:

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Summary
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A full night of observing with good seeing, limited technical issues, almost always clear skies and a lot of dark time. 1x P0 ToO, 3x P1, 4x P2 blocks observed, as well as SAMS mirror tests and twilight radial velocity standards.

Data taken for:
2014-2-SCI-070 P0 RSS (Spectroscopic follow-up of type Ia supernovae discovered by DES to analyse their spectral properties)
2014-2-SCI-031 P1 RSS (Redshift determination of newly confirmed galaxy clusters)
2014-2-SCI-014 P1 RSS (Investigating the activity in the not-red-and-dead brightest cluster galaxies)
2014-2-SCI-066 P1/P2 RSS (x3) (Finding the redshift and ionization of WISE-selected QSOs)
2014-2-SCI-023 P2 RSS (Time variability of the broad absorption line QSOs.)
2014-2-SCI-024 P2 HRS (Evolved binaries in the Magellanic Clouds)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-14

SA: Luke
SO: Veronica
Others:

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Summary
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A solid night of observations, with science for 3x P0, 3x P1, 1x P2, 2x P3 programs. Additionally frequent SAMS engineering tests, all lamp calibrations and an HRS radial velocity standard in one relevant mode. Clear skies and fairly good seeing though out.

Data taken for:

2014-2-MLT-005 P0 RSS (x2) (Deriving the mass of the central super-massive black hole in the core of active galaxies)
2014-2-SCI-058 P0 HRS (Accretion in Young Binary Star Systems)
2014-2-SCI-052 P1 RSS (x2) (Spectroscopic exploration of S0 galaxies with extraordinary central concentrations of gas and dust.)
2014-2-SCI-023 P1 RSS (Time variabilility of the broad absorption line QSOs.)
2014-2-SCI-027 P1 RSS (Searching for high redshift quasars for the MeerKAT Absorption Line Survey (MALS))
2014-2-SCI-024 P2 HRS (Evolved binaries in the Magellanic Clouds)
2014-2-SCI-060 P3 RSS (Searching for binaries in unusual central stars of planetary nebulae)
2014-2-SCI-045 P3 HRS (Chemical composition determination of LBVs in the Southern Hemisphere.)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Night Log 2015-03-13

SA: Luke
SO: Veronica
Others:

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Summary
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Unfortunately closed early with high humidity, but not before managing a P1 observation.

Data taken for:

2014-2-SCI-058 P1 HRS (Accretion in Young Binary Star Systems)

Friday, March 13, 2015

MASTERs of the Universe

SALT follows up on optical transients
Following its installation at Sutherland in late Dec 2014, the MASTER-SAAO node of the optical transient detection network has been busy discovering new optical transients. This is the first general transient detection system to be installed at SAAO, allowing for the rapid detection and followup of "things that go bump in the night".