Tuesday, 17 July 2012

KMOS Has Left The Building!

As I contemplate the sad fact that I have less than 2 weeks left in Chile, back home in Edinburgh, KMOS started its journey here on Monday.

The delicate job of packing KMOS up began on Monday morning at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre. A huge lorry arrived on site to transport the instrument and cable rotator to Tilbury Docks, London.

The Cable Rotator (CACOR) will be transported by boat and will take 6 weeks to arrive. The instrument itself goes by air and will be at the assembly hall in Paranal in 1 week. So as I fly home, I'll be flying over the CACOR in transportation somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean.

For a more detailed description of what KMOS is and how it will work, have a look at this STFC Backstage Science video clip:

And to find out more about being an instrument scientist, watch this video interview with Michele Cirasuolo, UK ATC Instrument Scientist for KMOS:

UT1 is ready and waiting for KMOS
Whilst at Paranal, I specifically asked to see Unit Telescope 1 (Antu) so I could see where KMOS would go. It was great to see 'the other side'! 

During the 6 years I've been working at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, I've been seeing all these amazing instruments being created and tested in the Crawford Laboratory. Now, I've actually been able to see where one will go.

It is incredible to think that by the end of this year, KMOS will be getting its first science results, right there, where I stood.

1 comment:

  1. How on earth did that low loader get over the speed bumps down the hill?!