At last, rest has arrived

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Today marks our sixth full day down the road from 34°04’21.46” N 106°54’51.80” W. For those of you who haven’t been plugging those numbers in into problem sets all week, they are the coordinates at which Etscorn Observatory is located. Yesterday morning (well, 1am – 3am), Michelle, Diana, and I got our first chance to operate the telescope and try to take some images of our asteroid, 2000 JQ66. Cloud cover made things… tricky, but we’ll be out there once again come Monday. By now, every team has made their way to the observatory at least once. It is only a matter of time until we start astrometry, photometry, and determining the orbital elements of our asteroids.

Instead of the usual two lecture routine we’ve been following, today we wrapped up after the morning programming lecture. Aaron introduced NumPy, Astropy, and some other tools that we’ll be using throughout the next four and a half weeks. As excited as I am for programming, however, the main event today followed dinner. Only one thing is able to completely diffuse the stress and anxiety accumulated over the past week. One intense showdown of pure competition. After 6 days filled with endless moments similar this:

we played… ultimate frisbee. It happens to be that terrible observation weather makes for great ultimate frisbee weather. As the picture at the beginning of this post shows, this evening was perfect.

To end things, I’d like to introduce the first installment of a new series. Here is today’s Facebook find of the day, featuring our very own Luke:

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-Nick

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