IRAM 30m – 30mm Under!

We’re almost 30 hours into our observing run to examine “Molecular Gas in Merging Spirals” and virtually the whole time we’ve been shut down due to weather! Tonight we’re expecting 3cm of snow which is great news for the skiers (who seem to be enjoying perfect blue skies during the day) but disastrous for detecting CO gas from galaxies. IRAM can see through some cloud, but when the air is completely saturated with water there is no possibility of getting a clean signal. The most exciting thing to happen so far occurred last night (New Years Eve) when I left a small bottle of champagne outside in the snow to chill it for midnight GMT. When I went out to fetch it though, I found it had disappeared with a set of fox prints leading up to and then away from it! Tonight at dinner the fox (“Zorro” in Spanish) came by the dining room looking for food (the IRAM staff treat them as pets and feed them often) though I reckon it was after more of my champagne. (Pictures to follow soon – I forgot my USB cable).

Since tonight was the last night we were scheduled for the mergers, we’ll have to reapply to come back later on this year! Tomorrow we shift projects to the Blue Ellipticals thought the forecast isn’t good so we’ll probably be seeing more of IRAM soon. Great start to 2009! (Next time I’m here I’m bringing a foxhound).


Update: Pictures of the Fox, and snow on the dish:



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13 responses to “IRAM 30m – 30mm Under!”

  1. elizabeth says :

    Hmmm. Well the fox had a Happy New Year. Hope it gets better.

  2. Pat says :

    Happy New Year Dan. 🙂 Hope you can find the Foxes den and your Champers. And best of luck for clear skies. 🙂

  3. Hanny says :

    😀 Happy new year Daniel and Chris! And thanks for keeping us updated! 😉

  4. Adrianus V says :

    Happy new year! It’s a very clever fox, able to open a bottle of champagne. 😀 Something for Foxnews maybe?

  5. Half65 says :

    Happy New Year.

  6. Joseph K. H. Cheng says :

    Daniel & Chris, I wish you better luck as 2009 progresses. Where there is a will there is a way. Happy New Year !

  7. DancesWithWords says :

    I’m not sure which is the sadder news… the lose of the champagne or the weather. Condolences on both. Hopefully there will be some break in the weather. Fingers crossed (ya I know, not very scientific ;-0)

  8. Alice says :

    This was an excellent story. You have to laugh. Que malo es el zorrito. Muy gracioso, Dan. Thanks for posting the pictures too Kevin. What a great start to 2009! 😀

  9. DancesWithWords says :

    So how much snow do you guys have up there? Isn’t supposed to be summer south of the equator now?

  10. DanielDarg says :

    IRAM is in Granada, Spain, well North of the Equator. We have about 1.5-2 feet I’d say.

  11. DancesWithWords says :

    Doh! I now feel quite stupid. ;-(

  12. Mark says :

    I spoke to soon. I hope you enjoyed your winter weather.. That would be a treat for me since I am in Florida.

  13. jay_nail says :

    Ahhhhhh isnt that fox just cute

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