Post by samuelrichards on Jul 6, 2011 23:36:06 GMT 10
I have just finished the commissioning of the instrument of SAMI.
Whilst being mainly at the AAT, but also the rest of Siding Springs Observatory, Australia, I have spoken with a fair amount of the workers up here including Telescope Technicians, Night Assisstants, etc..., but also those who are observing.
One thing that I find that really stands out is that normally the observer really doesn't know the Instrument/Telescope as well as they should.
Here's a thought: when you are going to any site to do observations, please read-up thoroughly on the instrument's ins and outs you are using beforehand so you have some understanding when you get there. I doesn't take much effort to do this as the observatory normally provides such info, and can provide valuable insight for your data analysis. Also, when you are at site, talk with some technicians, they know a lot!
Good point! There seems to have been a major shift from astronomers who also built the instruments they are using to astronomer who rely on engineers/observatory staff due to the extreme complexity of the current telescopes and instruments. I definitely agree with your point though - knowing both the hardware and software to a reasonable level can only be a good thing