University of Arizona Mirror Lab visit and trip to KPNObwillman | May 2, 2013
Over Spring Break in March, John Bochanski and I took 4 students to Tucson. Three current sophomores in my Intro to Astrophysics class (Dan DeLuzio, Lyn Oehrig, Tianyi Yang) and a senior astronomy major at Swarthmore, Jake Neely. As always, the Green Fund and Koshland Integrated Natural Science Center supported our trip.
We arrived on a Monday and, after a quick stop at In-and-Out burger, headed straight for the mirror lab at the University of Arizona. This amazing facility is where the largest mirrors for the largest telescopes in the world are made, including mirrors to go in the Giant Magellan Telescope and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Buddy Martin is a Haverford alum who is the polishing scientist and the Team Leader for the optics team at the lab. He very generously invited us for a special tour of the facility. John brought along his camera and got a couple of nice pics, including one of all of us posed near the LSST mirror.
The next morning, we headed up the mounting for our four night run on the WIYN 0.9m telescope. We were there to obtain time-series observations of a couple of Milky Way satellites, including Ursa Major II and Bootes III. This summer, students will use these data to search for RR Lyrae stars. We had a great time!
This pic shows Lyn and Dan working on making a pretty picture out of some fun observations. The students enjoyed making pics out of nebulae including the Crab and Ring nebulae:
Although we spent most of the time working hard, John found time to go outside and take an art shot (I’m having technical challenges uploading it for some reason) and also time to make us pose for a group pic.