I got to go visit APO a couple weeks ago with my fellow NMSU first years, and we had a grand time. The purpose of the trip was to become familiar with the facility so we may observe remotely from Las Cruces in the future. It’s at around 9000 feet elevation, south of Cloudcroft NM. There is something ethereal about all astronomical observatories… thin air, little sleep, zero humidity, small group of similarly nutty people. Good stuff.
The highlight, however, was definitely getting to look at various objects through the eyepiece on the 3.5 meter diameter telescope. Because, you see, astronomers don’t sit at telescopes and look through eyepieces anymore. We have snazzy digital instruments that collect light for us and we stare at a computer screen all night instead. So when you get to take time away from actual data gathering and instead look with your own eyeball through a telescope this big… it’s a rare treat. Also, Jupiter is blindingly bright and painful to look at, but it was so worth it.
Next week, I get an entire week of vacation for Thanksgiving (what?). But I’m not complaining. San Diego and Seattle, family and friends, here I come.
I am going to devour your Thai food and your Indian food. (Do not think for a minute that I am joking.)
Most people gain weight over Thanksgiving due to turkey, stuffing, pie, etc. Not me; curry all the way. Bring it.