Despite feeling really awful I just could not let the first decent night in two weeks go unused!  I only opened the South Dome – ran a sequence for the BRITE project (P Cyg / Deneb).  While “clear” the transparency was not great.  Slowly drying out after a long wet and humid spell.  Low tonight around 62F, no wind.  I finished the entire sequence by just after midnight – closed the dome and headed inside.  A very vigorous PT session today has me aching so I need some rest.  Six weeks after total knee replacement – doing very well overall but just not tonight.

New Counterweight Shafts / Measuring Mount Height

I got two new, shorter counterweight shafts for the two AP1200 mounts.  I was a bit concerned I’d need more mass on the spectrographic rig in the South Dome, but turned out not to be a problem.  Also I measured the height of the AP1200 mount in the South Dome to determine how much higher the telescope would “ride” as compared with the CGE mount.  The North Dome, where the newer AP1200 will soon be installed, is only an 8-foot dome, and the telescope with its dew shield only barely misses the inner dome ribs when slewing, so it’s an important consideration.  But it appears that the AP1200 is actually about a half inch shorter than the CGE as measured from the bottom of the pier base plate to where the telescope sits above the declination shaft.  That’s a good thing since it otherwise would have meant building a small ring to raise the dome a few inches.  So that certainly counts as good news!

Software Development

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week improving photproc_X – the optimal extraction photometry tool.  It turned out there were a couple of subtle bugs in the actual variance weighting part of the code, which now should be working properly.  I’m preparing an article describing photproc_X with some comparisons to other multi-image photometry software – AIP4WIN, Maxim, DAOPHOT’s aperture photometry routine, MIRA, and Canopus will likely all be included.



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