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Spreekt u Engels?

Well, I made it to JIVE. I left the house at 8am yesterday and five hours later I'd still only travelled less than 20 miles! Argh. I like travelling, I just hate sitting around in airports.

JIVE is a small organisation which shares a building with the much larger Astron, near the town of Dwingeloo in the Netherlands. JIVE runs the correlator which brings together data from telescopes around Europe and combines it in such a way that we can get useful information from it. The institute sits in a national park with trees in every direction. It really is quite beautiful. The weather is so like Cheshire that I feel right at home! The only thing missing is relief - on the 2-hour train journey from Schiphol to Hoogeveen there wasn't even the vaguest hint of a hill. Astronomers from all over the world come here to reduce their data, and that is why I am here. I'm looking at maser activity in the nearby starburst M82, or I will be when the data have been loaded - it takes quite a while to read in 95 Gb...

The guesthouse is really nice, very well kept complete with a fully stocked pantry! The view from the living room is pretty cool, too. It looks out towards the old (nearly 51 years!) 25-m telescope which hasn't actually been used for some time. When Fritz, the guy who looks after the guesthose, showed me round yesterday, he explained that a group of radio amateurs are in the process of restoring it to full working order. They've managed to get it moving again which is a good start. Pictures when I can load them from my camera...

So, in case you haven't guessed, the title of this post is Dutch, and it means "do you speak English?" It was the only thing I tried to say at the airport, and even then the lady at the ticket office laughed at me! At most airports, pretty much everyone speaks some English, and here is no exception. Still at least I made the effort to try, and I made somebody smile which is always a good thing!

Posted by Megan on Tuesday 29th Jan 2008 (11:02 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink

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