Leaving Leiden

Amazing how time goes fast. The conference is already over. Very productive, with lots of discussions, and fun too. What always amazes me is the surge of enthusiasm that I can always feel when I get together with other scientists, somehow all sharing the same desire… And more and more as time goes by I

Exploding Stars in Leiden

Just arrived in Leiden. Tomorrow, at the Lorentz Center, an international workshop on Supernova explosions will start. It will focus on the progenitors of one specific class of SNe, called Type Ia. They became famous because of the implications they had on the acceleration of the universe. During the last few years, my collaborators and 

SETI REU students 2010 – "This is the end…"

Three weeks ago was the final week of  the SETI REU students. It was a busy time for all of us since they had to wrap-up their work, write their report, and give their final presentations.  Keaton Burns from UC Berkeley and Bill Freeman from LSU, who worked under my supervision in this program, did a fantastic work over this 10-week internship.

Bill Freeman (left) and Keaton Burns (right), my SETI REU 2010 students, ready to give their final talks.
Bill Freeman (left) and Keaton Burns (right), my SETI REU 2010 students, ready to give their final talks.

Good bye, Paranal

Everything, sooner or later, comes to an end. This is my last day on Paranal, and it is quite unusual. In fact, last night we started off with a very strong wind, coupled to an extreme humidity. The inversion layer was just crossing the top of Paranal, and dense clouds of vapor were passing through.

A walk into the desert

A view of the desert from Paranal’s residencia This is now the 8th night of this run at the Very Large Telescope. I have been observing at Kueyen, the second 8.2m unit telescope (UT2 for friends). At the moment it is equipped with three spectrographs, UVES, FLAMES, and X-Shooter. All nights where good, very stable