Western Australia, Day 3 – Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory

31 May 2016

Following our visit to the ASKAP array the previous day, a nice meal, a couple of beers and a good night’s sleep at the Boolardy Station. This morning, we’d be visiting the other telescope array at the MRO – the Murchison Widefield Array.

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Getting ready to leave Boolardy Station to visit the MWA.

The MWA is a low frequency telescope array, operating between 80 and 300 MHz, and is not made of traditional telescope dishes but of radio antennae. These antennae can come in a variety of designs. At the MWA they have an uncanny resemblance to crabs or spiders crawling across the landscape.

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Western Australia, Day 2 – Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory

30 May 2016

We left Geraldton mid-morning to start our 5-hour trip across the Western Australian outback to the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory, the future site of the low-frequency Square Kilometre Array and the current site of two SKA-precursor instruments, the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). The Precursor facilities are defined as being those situated on the two SKA sites in Australia and South Africa.

Maybe an hour out of Geraldton, we stopped at a small town, Mullewa, for a quick pit stop.

Jonesys Cafe, where you can find quite possibly what are the best muffins in the world, and the hottest damned coffee I’ve ever tried to drink. Norm, our bus driver for the two day trip, was staying cool regardless.

Back on the road and we are truly in the desert now. The weather was beautiful, but the northerners amongst us were constantly reminded that this is the Australian winter, and that it is not always like this.

That’s a big ant-hill, Adam! Try jumping up-and-down – let’s see what happens.

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Western Australia, Day 1 – Geraldton

29 May 2016

This was not my first visit to Australia, but it was my first time to Western Australia, and my first opportunity to visit the Australian site for the low-frequency telescope of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Travel the long distance from Europe to Perth (via Singapore), check into the hotel and then try to sleep it all off. The next day, a quick flight up WA’s Coral Coast to the small town of Geraldton, where the SKA’s operations centre will likely be based.

Not wanting to succumb to the jet-lag too soon, we decided to get out for a bite to eat and a stroll along the beach front. Of course, I took my camera with me.

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Pune, India

3 April, 2016

I am very fortunate that in my job I have the opportunity to travel around the world. This past April I travelled to India for the first time. Most of the time was spent in meetings (and eating some of the most delicious curries!). But, our first day was a Sunday and that was a bit of a free day. A colleague of mine had arranged for a short 2-3 hour tour of the city of Pune, arranged by the hotel. I joined her on this trip and took my little Fujifilm X100s with me.

The pictures here are mostly taken from that little tour of the city, although I’ve taken the liberty to scatter some images taken with my iPhone through the week.

On our first stop, we visited the Pataleshwar Caves, a temple cut out of the rock sometime around the 8th century. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva.

This was a small oasis of tranquility in what is a large, bustling, busy and at times loud city. People in the grounds and in the temple were either praying or sitting silently in contemplation.

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Saddell Bay

5th May 2016

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We woke up early that morning. On the road by 5am heading to Scotland, to meet and spend a few days with some very good friends of ours. The road to Argyll & Bute passes through some lovely scenery and I regret not stopping to take pictures and absorb the landscape along the way, but we had almost 400 km to cover. We made mental notes along the way of all the places we need to come back to – I’m sure we won’t remember them all, but if we can return to half of them, I’ll be happy.

We got to Saddell Bay just after lunch time. Our friends were still out exploring, so we took a walk along the Bay, recalling memories from 21 years ago when these friends got married, in the cottages at the end of the bay.

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There was a plastic bucket-cum-basket on the beach.

It was orange (…the bucket… not the beach…).

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Stone collecting. The pile of stones shown below now adorns the windowshelf in our conservatory at home.

Walking up and down the beach you can appreciate different views of Saddell House and the cottages on Saddell Bay.

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Looking sinister, and then pleased with herself.

We weren’t the only ones walking on the beach that day.Saddell_011At the southeastern end of the bay, stands the famous east-facing Land sculpture by Anthony Gormley.

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It was a long drive from Cheshire, but certainly worth it.