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Comment: Re:I have some questions (Score 2) 129

by NixieBunny (#48532341) Attached to: How Astronomers Will Take the "Image of the Century": a Black Hole
I work on the engineering side, rather than the project management side. The two EHT telescopes that I work on are in Arizona, although I build some of the hardware that's being taken to the South Pole Telescope. It's getting improved to be a part of the EHT. One of the Arizona telescopes is a prototpye ALMA antenna that we just moved here from New Mexico last year, and got working a month ago.

Observations are typically done in March/April. This gives good weather at the many sites involved. The typical run is a week, and they try to get several 10-minute recordings during that time period. The data is recorded at 1 Gbyte/sec onto banks of hard drives, then shipped by FedEx to MIT for correlation. (I don't know if a FedEx truck makes it to the South Pole every day.)

The frequency used for most observations in in the 1.3mm band. The baselines are intercontinental (Arizona, Hawaii, Chile, hopefully Antarctica), up to 5000 miles. The goal is to actually get fringes between all stations, although that's not always possible due to weather and/or equipment acting up.

Comment: Re:hang on (Score 1) 334

by NixieBunny (#48527417) Attached to: Aliens Are Probably Everywhere, Just Not Anywhere Nearby
I work in radio astronomy. From what I can gather, things in other star systems are too far away to even be able to communicate, much less transport between them.

Those huge arrays of radio telescopes being built in Chile and South Africa are able to detect things on the order of a planet in size. That doesn't mean that they can communicate with the planet, just see that it exists.

Comment: Re:Power does not fail here (Score 2) 236

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) 137

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.)

BASIC is to computer programming as QWERTY is to typing. -- Seymour Papert