Viewing posts from January, 2012
On Thursday, January 26 2012 a group of Faulkes Telescope Project users combined forces to observe an asteroid. Grudziadz, The Leigh Technology Academy, College Le Monteil ASAM, Escola Secundária da Cidadela, Moreton Hall School and Regina Mundi College used the 2-meter diameter Faulkes Telescope North to observe the same patch of sky over a period of almost 5 hours. Their objective was asteroid 1676 Kariba but they caught a second asteroid (probably 1998 RM73) too.
This week’s interview is with John Hygelund.
Jessica Barton: What is your job title?
John Hygelund: Mechanical Engineer
JB: What does your work at LCOGT involve?
JH: I do design, fabrication, and testing of telescopes, instruments, and instrument systems. Also some site management.
JB: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself - your education, interests, past work experiences.
JH: I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in '07 and my senior project was a robotic telescope mount for LCO. I have been working with LCO ever since. I worked in machine shops and hands-on projects at school and jumped at an opportunity to work for a company designing and building their own telescopes in house from the ground up! Having the ability to walk from a model on my computer to the prototype on the shop floor is an awesome way to work.
JB: What is a typical day at work like?
JH: A typical day might be a morning of 3D modeling and designing in front of the computer, finding a good location to hide an annoying alarm clock, and then spending a few hours of designing and running lab experiments in the afternoon. If I don't stick around for the sun to go down for 'on sky' testing, I'll fit in a mountain bike ride.
JB: What advice would you offer people wanting to go into the type of work you do?
JH: Find something you love doing and dig in, you never know who or what is going to lead you to your next adventure.
JB: Is there anything I didn't ask that you would like readers to know?
JH: I'm a big bike advocate and help promote the 'Bike to Work Challenge' here at LCO and other cycling events around town. The picture I gave you is a recent picture of me at the monthly "Bike Moves" ride. This one had a bubble wrap and duct tape theme.
JB: Thanks John!
From 2012A onwards, LCOGT will be accepting proposals for "background" programs in addition to proposals whose priority will be assigned by standard TAC-ranking, as in the past. Background programs are intended to fill gaps in the schedule when no other program can be done, by providing reservoir of observations which can be executed at any time and (ideally) in any conditions. Please note that only queue-scheduled observations can be made through a background proposal, and no guarantees can be made as to its execution. All other proposals should go through the standard TAC-ranked channel.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) holds two annual meetings, the larger being in January. With attendance of around nearly 3000, there are always lots of exciting announcements in a variety of areas of astronomy, cosmology, technology, education, and more. This year’s winter AAS was held January 7 - 12 in Austin, Texas.
This year, for the first time, LCOGT had a booth in the exhibit hall in addition to several talks and posters. Within our 10' x 10' x 8' space, we had something from many of the niches of LCOGT. This included a world map with a shadow moving across the face with the telescope sites changing from red to green as night fell on those sites projecting on a 50” TV to emphasis the capabilities of the network (created by BJ Fulton and Jessica Barton), a 1-meter filter wheel (which will be part of Sinistro) which happily spun around awing everyone for the entire week, the moving focuser and filter wheel for the high speed camera, slides shows about the main science areas that LCOGT scientists are participating in and all of the software and engineering being done, and a laptop set up where everyone can try out the education software such as Agent Exoplanet. The background panels began with a photo by Rob Ratkowski/Maui and was edited by Federica Bianco to include silhouettes of 1-meter and 0.4-meter telescopes next to FTN.
FTS Statistics for 2011: