Harry Potter and the Smoking Telescope of Doom
What a week! Between trying to analyse ropey MERLIN data, and reading Harry Potter books, I've had very little time to do anything else during the last week. Still, it's been fun.
Credit: D. Champion
Yesterday was Harry Potter night here at Jodrell. Having ignored the whole Harry Potter phenomenon until now, I ended up having to read two book in two days so I had some idea what I was talking about! We borrowed some gowns from Hulme Hall and dressed up as prefects and professors, Stuart (Professor of Mayhem) made a sorting hat, badges for everyone and lots of other things, Lisa made huge numbers of flags in the four house colours which decorated the path to the visitors centre. Dave and I put together the pulsar group's scaffolding as a backdrop for Tim's lecture in the outdoor amphitheatre and strung fairy lights around it. And between running around printing and photocopying things, I spent the afternoon racing around the site looking for a long length of flexible tubing, then climbing on the 42 ft telescope setting up a smoke machine! It looked fantastic on the brief occasion that I managed to glimpse it, as Dave had taken an overhead projector and a sheet of green lighting gel out onto the roof and illuminated the dish from underneath! When we were testing it out, we timed it perfectly. As the first wisps of smoke fell over the edge of the dish and we all cheered, the visitors (who had come for the MERLIN review) all left the building, I dread to think what they imagined was going on!