Morning Twilight

I’ve just finished my fourth night of observing at the MDM 1.3-m telescope. Tonight was quite windy but fortunately it did not get above the magic number of 40 mph which would have forced me to close the dome.

The telescope is pointing at the zenith (straight up, its stowing position), the dome is closed and the instrument filled with liquid nitrogen. It is definitely time for bed. However, at this point in the night I always like to stay up a little while and savour the moment. Watching the sky get brighter in complete solitude is a magical time. That and I’ve drank so much coffee in the last 6 hours sleep is out of the question.

The instrument, in this case a pink CCD camera, has to be filled from the liquid nitrogen at the start and end of every night. This is the last task before bed.

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