Sol Summary – Jun 9th

Astronomy Refit Crew – Sol 7, June 9th, 2019

Crew: Peter Detterline

Gary Becker

Peyton Zankel

Cole Armstrong

Ed Thomas


Last night’s star party went off without a hitch, although a bit cold. Once the moon was behind the hills, the stars covered the skies. It was so nice to share this love of space and the stars with others. Made being out in the cold and wind worth it. Detterline and Thomas stayed out for longer and took a single image of the Dumbbell Nebulae with the Robotic Observatory that lasted 10 minutes. Thomas wanted to see what the tracking was like to check the quality of the mount. The attached picture is gorgeous. If the weather cooperates with us, they want to try it again tonight for 15 and 20 minutes.

Today was a sort of maintenance day. We got the crack through the Musk Observatory filled, as well as a crack forming on the back-airlock porch. Detterline and Thomas took the desiccant out of the telescope cameras and baked them at 240⁰ F for 2 hours to re-energize the material. This will be part of the maintenance routine from here on out.

Thomas also got some work done in the Robotic
Observatory today. He discussed some new telescope routines including a new park position for the telescope, and the rationale for why the telescope needs a 30⁰ cut off rather than a 20⁰ one, which is what Detterline was hoping for. This means that you can’t image anything lower than 30⁰.

Armstrong, Becker, Thomas, and I also took a short trip to the local dinosaur dig while Detterline worked on the training video. While it was technically closed today, they were still kind enough to give us a quick look around. It was nice to see what was going on in what is sort of our own backyard. We got to see a clump of large bones they had been working on and may soon be moving off to their museum.

Today was not perfect, though. The internet has been going in and out all day, which makes our work more difficult. Detterline and Thomas also tried to get the video cameras working, but with no luck. They are still working on it, but with Thomas leaving tomorrow and the rest of us leaving Tuesday morning, we aren’t sure if we’ll be able to get them operational.


Poured concrete in cracks in Musk and Hab

10 minute exposure of Dumbbell Nebula

Detterline finished recording training videos for the Musk Observatory

Desiccant was dried out


Soc = 87%


Internet going in and out all day

Could not get cameras operational


Pictures 1, 2, and 3 are taken by Peyton Zankel. The first is of Peter Detterline hard at work filling the crack inside the Must Observatory. The second and third are of repairs to the Musk Observatory. Pictures 4 and 5 were taken by Peter Detterline. The first is his 10 minute exposure of the Dumbbell Nebula, and the second is a gorgeous picture from last night’s star party.

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