AAO Newsletter July 1996 - Page 11

Letter From Coonabarabran

What a foul and awful winter it has been - having lived for more than 20 years in Coona, I cannot remember a cloudier, danker, more revolting cold time than this year. Observers don't like it either!

But for all that, progress is being made. 2dF throws out its worst but is being brought to the mark -it is quite something to watch the fibre positioner doing its stuff for instance. 2dF is NOT a good looking top end but it does have the appearance, of pending efficiency and carries the marks of the quite awesome talents who have worked on it.

One of our Electronics STOs, Darren Stafford, the youngest of them all, has left to study. Darren's dry wit and acerbic comments will be much missed - being so young, you see, his point of view was, well, interesting, to say the least. Darren has just completed his mud brick; house, just one of many in this district. Apparently the bathroom is amazing but I was rather impressed with the moat which had resulted from the recent rain (and no, the house will NOT dissolve, even though it is mud brick). Darren assures me that this is to keep the crocodiles happy who, presumably, keep the sharks under control. We all wish Darren and Sharon the very best for the future.

'It's no good, Doc, I can still see the 2dF not working!'

Some of our visitors over the last quarter have been the Photoelectric Photometry Conference who came down from their venue in Toowoomba, Queensland, just to see over Siding Spring, and were a very keen and welcome group. In a bid to keep our skies dark there was also a conference here of people involved in local government, tourism and astronomy who were given a tall; by Dave Malin. The weather co-operated to the extent that it snowed and became foggy so the sky was definitely dark.

Not so knowledgeable but just as keen were the actors of the New England Theatre Company, who, the night before had portrayed Romeo and Juliet in the Shire Hall. They declared the acoustics of the dome to be dismal but for all that were a very nice bunch of young people. We get all sorts at the AAT, and so we should!

Pictured above is the result of 2dF stress on unsuspecting admin officers...

Rhonda Martin

Library News

Since the last issue of the Newsletter, the AAO librarian has endeavoured to continue the tradition of peripatetic AAO librarians, and after touring around Germany for a week, attended a meeting of the European Group of Astronomy Librarians in Cambridge on June 28.

Librarians from various institutions were present, including the Institute of Astronomy, ESO, Cambridge University and RGO. The opportunity to put faces to names was most welcome as opportunities to meet other astronomy librarians are necessarily limited in Australia.


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