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Comment: Re:Power does not fail here (Score 2) 233

by NixieBunny (#48442661) Attached to: What is your computer most often plugged into?
I live in the Arizona desert, where we have violent summer thunderstorms, and lots of overhead wires for power and telephone. We sometimes have the wind knock over long stretches of lines. It's worse on the mountaintops where the telescope I work on are located. Each site has a generator to keep the equipment running.

Comment: Re:There are two problems here... (Score 1) 134

by NixieBunny (#48441537) Attached to: Profanity-Laced Academic Paper Exposes Scam Journal
I am a staff engineer at a university, so I receive most all the spam that is sent to the university's professors. I get many invitations to conferences. I assume that most, if not all, of them are bogus, since I'm not a researcher and most of them are for fields that I don't work in.

When I have looked into one or two of them out of curiosity, I went down a rabbit hole of internet weirdness (SEO, lack of citations, etc.)

Comment: Re:This is not 'How to'. It's moralising (Score 1) 834

by NixieBunny (#48360511) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment
The first paragraph of your comment makes a bit of sense. The second one is out there in la-la land. Your "SJW type" sounds like a straw man. Do you honestly think that people who receive rape and death threats, then publicize these threats, are doing it for the "attention, money, or political power"?

Comment: Re:Reality check on resolution (Score 1) 91

by NixieBunny (#48334343) Attached to: Revolutionary New View of Baby Planets Forming Around a Star
This is achieved by having a really big aperture. In this case, the array is spread out over 15 km, so the aperture is effectively that size. Try putting a 15 km array of telescopes in space! The information processing is necessary to combine the signals, as a 15 km single-dish antenna would be a bit tricky to set up.

One number that's woefully missing from the news stories is the wavelength (frequency) at which the observation was made. NRAO has made two sets of receivers, at 3 mm and 1.3 mm wavelengths, for this array. Other countries have made different receivers, but I don't know if any of those are being used right now. Ned more information!

Comment: This image cost a billion dollars (Score 5, Interesting) 91

by NixieBunny (#48331957) Attached to: Revolutionary New View of Baby Planets Forming Around a Star
This image is the result of a 25 year project to build a big interferometric array of millimeter-wave radio telescopes in Chile. The ALMA array is a mind-bogglingly complex system of 60+ telescopes, a correlator to combine all the signals, some bleeding-edge technology to maintain phase coherence of gigahertz signals traveling over many kilometers of optical fibers, and a bunch of other feats of engineering. I am awed by the results, and amazed that it was possible to get the whole thing to work.

I'm privileged to get to work on a prototype antenna for this project, which was just installed on Kitt Peak and commissioned today.

Comment: We use stuff like this (Score 3, Interesting) 81

by NixieBunny (#48285293) Attached to: Integrated Circuit Amplifier Breaches Terahertz Barrier
I work in submillimeter wave astronomy, where we would be happy to have a terahertz preamplifier for our receivers. We currently use miers mixer that work at that frequency, but the mixer has to be made with superconducting waveguide to have good performance. There are about five places in the world that know how to make that sort of chip.

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.