|Summerschool 1991 in New Mexico|
This is Fitch Hall at the campus. The place where I spend two weeks. On the
first night I allready locked myself out, because I closed the door while
I went to the bathroom. Yes, the key was inside the room. The campus police
was helpful in tracking down the person with the spare key.
A typical view of a typical town in the typical middle of nowhere. How typical.
Sure they have a McDonalds. Sure they have a gas station. Fortunately they
also have real food and real restaurants. Spicy Mexican food like Tamale
Now that is what I call a truck. Would be nice to hitch a ride with something
like that. To bad I have to stay in Socorro.
This is what I came for. The Very Large Array (VLA) at the plains of
St. Augustin. The largest Synthesis Radio Telescope in the world (27 dishes).
What a view.
The VLA can be set in different configurations. In the smallest setup the
maximum baseline is 1.3 km and the largest setup is 27 km. These cranes are
needed to move the telescopes to different positions. It takes about one day
per telescope to move. They have 2 of these machines.
In this area it is usually very sunny and dry. But in 5 minutes the wheater can
change dramatically. Here you see a thunderstorm coming directly towards us.
And this happened while we were standing inside the dish of a telescope.
250 tons of metal on a large plane in a thunderstorm. Better find a safer
place to hide. Under the dish is a cage of Faraday, that contains the
receivers. This must be safe.
I survived the thunderstorm and other trouble. The trip back was easy, except
for the fact that the shuttle that would take me back to Albuquerque did not
pick me up. After an hour waiting I called the secretary of the campus and
she said the shuttle was gone allready. After several phone calls it was
decided that I could stay one more night at the campus and another shuttle
would pick me up early in the morning. This was the only person in Socorro
that had a licence to run the shuttle service so when he heard about my story
he did not charge me anything if I gave him the ticket of the illegal
shuttle driver. So remember when you go to Socorro, always take the official
service called Roadrunner.
This document was last updated on 03/08/01