Whew! It has been a busy few days. The EHT summer person came down and is only here at Pole for 9 days, so had a really intense 5 days of EHT setup, observing and calibration. Most of the days ended up being 12-16 hours long because of some unforeseen problems — probably better for the training to have to do more troubleshooting, but very time-consuming.
Everything worked out well in the end and we did some practice very-long baseline interferometry (VLBI) observing, which is where we pretend that all the telescopes participating in the EHT observing season are observing targets at the same time, so we have to also observe them at the same time while doing calibration measurements before, in-between, and after the source observations. This is practice for the ~5days of 16 hour observations which happen during the actual EHT run in late-March. (Unfortunately I didn’t get to participate during my winter because so many observatories were shut down due to COVID).
In other news – the weather is getting colder and the station is getting closer to closing. There is only ~1 week until station close! Temps are now around -30F with windchills approaching -80F (we’ve had several pretty windy days in a row now). I keep thinking though that we’re in the heat of summer and it’s directly analogous to positive temperatures. You can imagine what winter is like by flipping the sign of the temps which might be more what you’re used to — pretend that it’s freezing (+30F) and that it will get up to +100F. Those are the differences still to come! 70F colder !
Unfortunately I don’t have anything in the way of pictures. Maybe next posting 🙂