i don’t. want. to leave.
i am fully aware that i have a completely false first impression of india. as with all radio interferometers (and telescopes in general), we are in an “oasis of calm” in khodad (the middle of nowhere), and tomorrow evening we venture out into the chaos of pune for the weekend. even the compound containing the observatory and central square of the array is in stark contrast with the landscape that surrounds it. despite the fact that i think every sound i hear is made by something that can kill me, or the fact that i can’t pet the observatory cat because it probably has a disease that can also kill me, i don’t want to leave. not yet anyways. i have been way too long without consistent sun and hot temperatures, and i am not done soaking them all in.
not to mention i just love walking around the array. (look! one of the dishes finally came down low enough to touch!) my favorite part about being a radio astronomer is that i have an extremely photogenic instrument, whereas instruments at most other wavelengths are hidden within a dome or reside in space. the antennas are just damn cool, there’s no other way to put it. and the bigger the better. these dishes are 45 meters in diameter, which is monstrous, although the largest i’ve seen is the lovell telescope at 76 meters. you better believe i will be applying to observe here again this time next year.