This week the SDSS is preparing for our telescope at Apache Point Observatory to come out of its usual 4 week summer
vacation shutdown and get back to observing.
This period of shutdown is a very busy one for SDSS operations when a lot of essential maintenance happens. For example this year the primary mirror of the telescope has been given a new reflective coating. The timing of the shut down is set to coincide with the monsoon season in the South West of the USA – a period when the weather is often not good for observing anyway.
As part of the process of re-opening, SDSS Operations Software Guru John Parejko (who is usually based at Yale University in New Haven, CT) will travel out to APO. John has agreed to tweet what’s going on for us as our “Tweep of the week” while the telescope gets ready to start observing again.
John got his PhD in physics in 2010 from Drexel University where he used SDSS data to study the topic of Low Luminosity Active Galaxies (ie. how supermassive black holes which are only accreting a little bit work). Following this he was a postdoc at Yale University working on the BOSS (Baryon Acoustic Oscillation Spectrosopice Survey) data, before taking over responsibility for the SDSS telescope operations software two years ago.
John’s an example of someone whose been in the SDSS family for a while!