While Herschel will be a great far-IR observatory, for a lot of our science goals we need data at other wavelengths as well. One of the projects I’m working on with Herschel is the HerMES deep cosmological survey. We aim to uncover the history of dusty galaxies and their role in the universe by getting very deep observations with Herschel. However, to fully understand the objects that Herschel finds we need to match the Herschel objects up with sources at other wavelengths.

I’m currently in Hawaii at the Mauna Kea Observatory to start to get the deep optical data we need for this task. I’ll be observing on the Subaru telescope, of which more later. Tonight is my acclimatization night, staying 24 hours at 10000 feet altitude so that I’m functional when I get to the telescope at 14000 feet tomorrow night.

Unfortunately the weather isn’t looking great…

Rather too much cirrus cloud for good observing

Rather too much cirrus cloud for good observing

The weather forecast for the next few days is that the sky should stay like this, which wouldn’t be good.

Fingers crossed that it improves!

Of course one thing Herschel won’t suffer from is weather in space.


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