Friday, 9 July 2010

The sign

This is what visitors to the summit see outside the observatory:

If you can't read the words, click on the picture as you'll see a larger version.

Only one bit of this has recently become out of date. Can you spot it? I hope to change those few words in the near future.


Keera Ann Fox said...

Now, why did I never think that the UK in UKIRT stood for United Kingdom? Funny how acronyms tend not to be acronyms, but words.

Paul said...

Alas, I call *two* bits. :-(

Andrew Cooper said...

As someone who works on the Keck AO system I might take issue with the "sharpest images" line.

There is also some question about the accuracy of the statement "funded by the United Kingdom"

Tom said...

Keera - fully understand where you're coming from. With UKIRT it's become a name rather than an acronym. It should always be "the UKIRT" but even I don't do that unless I'm writing something official!

Andrew - I suspect the sign was written in a different era. If it said the sharpest images without AO then it would still be accurate I think. It'd confuse the tourists though.

As to funding, I think it better I say little for now.

Paul - I suspect I know who you are but can't be sure! One bit's now wrong, the others are open to debate!

No matter, I'll see if we can get the sign changed. I don't like having something that's inaccurate up there - not that most people reading the sign will know any better!


Paul said...

Hi Tom,
Yep, it's me. :-)

I find that claims of biggest, tallest, fastest, coldest, bestest, dedicatedest etc are almost always somewhat debatable. :-)

So I guess we should all lobby to have the v put back in vista... :-)

Hope things are going well...


Anonymous said...

This is a test comment from Tom

Brad said...

I see one! UKIRT observes shorter than 1 micron with the Z and Y filters on WFCAM. :-)

Also, it depends on how finicky you might want to get about "instruments". That said, even with the instruments in the dome UKIRT can't go to 20 microns.

Somebody said...

I had to look since Keera had put a link to her website.
Lovely girl.
Now this is the bit that amuses me.


Tom said...

Brad - I can see putting together a new sign is going to be harder work than I thought. Still, the telescope itself can certainly work beyond 20 microns although I don't think it can compare to places like Gemini at those wavelengths.

"Somebody said..." - not sure I understand your comment. Keera's into astrology and I'm not. It doesn't mean we can't be friends. What are you getting at?

Tom said...

PS. Paul has the answer I was looking for by the way, UKIRT is no longer the largest telescope dedicated to IR astronomy, VISTA is. Still, it's in the southern hemisphere so we can ignore it;)

The other option is to redefine the wavelengths that count as IR...