2014B Day 29: Vizzy Sighted

We had another good night. Some thin/patchy/high clouds blew in after about 2 am, but we were on a bright star and really didn’t notice. It was “Empanada Sunday”, and we all had empanadas for our night lunches. The most exciting part of my day was getting to see Vizzy at the clean room on my walk up to the telescope. I skipped dinner (too soon after waking up for that much food) so I went up earlier than usual. And one of our friends was hanging out. It’s been really skittish the two times I’ve seen it, but I moved slowly enough to get some good pictures.

My first Viscacha sighting in over a week.
The clean room Vizzy is much less trusting than before.
The high perch.

There are really many fewer Viscachas around compared to our previous visits. This wikipedia article says they do not hibernate, but they are “prone to wide swings in population due to adverse weather conditions.” It is spring down here, so maybe the winter was hard.

There may not be a spider shortage here though. I think we can apply a thumbrule that says the number of live giant terrifying spiders in your immediate vicinity that you can’t see is 10^2 to 10^3 times the number of dead giant terrifying spiders you can see.

A dried up spider that’s just outside the Clay control room.

Luckily I think they’re too big to get under our doors. There are some gaps in the wall behind our gas heaters though, and I don’t know about the vents over our beds. Sleep tight everybody, and remember “Gilthoniel A Elbereth!” might help (but I think you have to pronounce it right).

We’ve been having some fantastic sunsets. Sunset is a bit of an event – the observers at both Clay and Baade gather on their respective ends of the catwalk along with our telescope operators to watch the proceedings. The first of many cups of coffee is sipped, yarns are spun about glorious green-flashes of yesterday, and much hypothesizing occurs about the optimum conditions for the elusive flash.

AO Women

Did you know AC/DC has a new album coming out in 4 days? This should get you ready for it.