Antarctic Astronomy Diaries 2003/04

   

   
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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

5-6/1



The days are getting more and more the same. I am now very comfortably
installed in the AASTINO. I uploaded all my music into Simone and she now
sings to me all day long while I work on the structure of the observatory.
My only time away from her is when I am outside to put the weather tower
together. When I say weather, I mean wind speed and direction, pressure,
temperature and cloud coverage. All the sensors will sit on top of the three
meter tower, far enough from the AASTINO not to feel the disturbance it make
on the air. I therefore spend a lot of time measuring and cutting electrical
cables that will link all the different pieces to the observatory. This part
of my day does not require my brain too much so I can't wait for the two
boys to arrive with the new instrument. Still hot from our lab in Sydney, it
will be a good challenge to install it and get it running.



The station population has increased lately. We were 44 last week but today
we have just reached 50, I don't know where all these extra people sleep. I
am in a six bed tent and only three of them are filled. I was expecting the
new arrivals to change that but apparently they found space for them
somewhere else. Mind you, I don't complain. It's nice to share a room with
only two people especially when they don't snore and go to bed before I do.



The DIMM also continues to work like a beauty. We even make it measure
physical quantities it is not supposed to measure. I noticed we come up with
interesting scientific ideas right after lunch. We sit in front of our
computers, Eric with his espresso and me with my lemon sorbet, and spend a
good hour stretching the laws of physics. Who knows maybe a month, 10 litres
of coffee and 50 litres of ice cream later we might propose a grand unified
theory or build a pair of telepods to teleport ourselves between Sydney and
Dome C. Enough dreaming, for now we are on schedule and waiting impatiently
for the next shipping duck magret.



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