EGTN Trip Day 4 – OBP First Light

Happy Sunday everyone! Today was another productive day for us here at OBP.  Following breakfast and some computer work, we organized the pier placement with the site host.  With everything settled on location, the host took to completing the necessary drilling for the updated pier placement.  Here is an image of the final result:

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Previously, we were only on the white pier location, we are adding the blue pier.  The large telescope in the upper right portion of the frame is a Planewave.  For those that don’t know, Planewave is located very close to our LA office. Great equipment, but $$$.

While the host was completing the concrete drilling, Max and I took up shop out front to continue getting the computers set up and other miscellaneous network tasks. Our sensors are in the wood building you see on the right hand side of the frame.

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I also gave Max a crash course in exoplanet astronomy and the information you can pull out from photometric eclipses.  Yes, the board is in French, but I can explain in English :-p

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With the telescopes installed and computers setup we were just waiting for the sun to set.  Since our lodging is at the observatory this allowed both of us to do something that we never get to do on these trips: take a nap.  For me, this time change has kicked me in the butt more than normal.  Strangely, I seem to do better swapping to Australian time zones than here to Europe.  My guess is that coming to Europe is more analogous to a complete inverse of what we are used to at home.

As today is Sunday, we were on our own for dinner (we have been eating with the host).  That provided the opportunity for Max and I to head into town and try our hand at the local grocery store.  For me, going into a grocery store in another country is one of my favorite places to go while I’m on the road.  It is a great viewpoint into the way the locals live and some minor aspects about their day-to-day life.  Before Max and I went to the store, we were told that they likely closed just after 12:00 since it was Sunday.  As it was roughly 11:30 when they mentioned this little tid bit, and the grocery store was about 20 minutes away, we jumped in the car to town.  We walked in at roughly 11:55 and they were starting to pack away the produce so we knew we did not have much time.  After making a quick lap we through enough things in our basket that we felt safe for dinner.  However, we still had lunch to deal with so made a second round.  As we made this second pass, all music and lights in the store turned off.  Just a subtle hint right?  Mad dash later, we checked out and did pretty well for ourselves tonight.  Here is a picture of dinner, yes I do tend to take pictures food…

IMG_8417Bad lighting I know, but we had minimal lights on to keep the light pollution down onsite.

With this success of a day today, we are essentially done here at OBP.  Tomorrow is our last day in France before we start the travel to Morocco.  We will be cleaning up and packing as well as checking focus tomorrow night, weather permitting. Tonight I’ll leave you with a view looking up past sensor 1043 while prepping to focus.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoy your Monday!

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Cheers,
MJ


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