Stuff

Next week is a really busy one for me, involving several things I aim to talk about on this blog : Big Sky Surveys, the Virtual Observatory, Academic Bureaucracy, and Astro-Politics. First I need to do the actual work… then I will try to get down some thoughts.

First, I need to finish the revised version of my paper describing the UKIRT Infrared Sky Survey (UKIDSS). Its been on astro-ph for ages but if I don’t submit the revised version soon to MNRAS it turns into a pumpkin and I have to re-submit. Second up is AstroGrid planning meetings. We are entering the final year of the AstroGrid project, before formally launching an actual operational Virtual Observatory service. Third thing is a series of planning meetings with Physics Colleagues and College Office planning our submission to the Research Assessment Exercise. This is such a pain in the butt, but now that the Government are talking about changing it, we are all whingeing. Fourth thing is preparing for a meeting of the Astronet project in Poitiers, aimed at making a “strategic plan for European astronomy”. Wow. As usual with Euro-stuff, it could easily be either crucial or vacuous bilge. Will be letting you know …

By the way, if you google Astronet you get some astrology stuff for women. Gaaggghhh.

Meanwhile my teenage daughter is off to Space Camp in Houston, and is chatting up astronauts as I write. Apparently she might even meet legendary flight controller Gene Krantz. Wow.

Still haven’t seen Comet McNaught … but I note there is a post on Universe Today saying that you can see it in broad daylight if you use a nearby building as a coronagraph …

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