Well, it’s dark (although only just by astronomical standards). If you don’t believe me, then you can keep an eye on the all sky camera.
We’ve just headed over to our first object, which is the galaxy below.
As you might remember we’re investigating the Galaxy Zoo sample of overlapping galaxies. This is a fairly typical example; an apparently smaller galaxy (the round blob on the left) hiding behind a larger one. In fact, we know from Sloan’s measurement of the spectra of each of these objects that the blob on the left is more distant than its apparent neighbour. In fact, the distant galaxy is 1.6 Billion light-years away, and the closer one is ‘only’ 220 Million light-years distant. Our first trial image is up on Bill’s screen next to me now, and it looks reasonable. Although the weather is perfect – it’s completely clear – the seeing is pretty poor. Seeing is how astronomers measure the wobbling of the Earth’s atmosphere above us; that’s our main complaint so far. Still, the night and the week are young and it’s great to be on sky following up Galaxy Zoo for the first time.