Saturday, 12 March 2011

SXR208: Day 1

Day one of the residential school in Mallorca.

I'd arrived the previous day, an early flight meant getting up even earlier to get to the airport (2am) so it seemed sensible as the first night was scheduled to end after midnight to arrive the previous day and at least get some sleep.

The formal part of the day started with registration at 4pm, and then some sitting around in the bar area waiting for the bus to arrive to take us to the observatory. It's about a 50min journey into the middle of the island, down increasingly tiny roads to get to the observatory. We were about half way there, where the bus broke down. Overheating apparently, but they said there would be a replacement in 20 minutes. Much to everyone's surprise, they were good to their word, and we reached the observatory just 20 mins late.

We arrived in the pouring rain, and the nights scheduled stargazing look like it wasn't going to happen. We split into groups and went for a tour of the site, with coats on in the rain. We got familiar with where the various buildings were and how to get between them, in the dark "No running and use torches" was the mantra drummed into all of us.

We got given our documents, a clipboard, a notebook and a planisphere set for the local longitude. We had a good lunch and then went to the planetarium for a show, and ended with stargazing in the dome, given the inclement weather.

The night ended at about midnight, and the trip back to the hotel, uneventful this time.

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