Another busy day in the clean room with lots of fiddly little jobs being taken care of. One of the trickier ones was the removal of the small CGH, expertly done by Francois & a pair of nervous onlookers...
Trivial by comparison, but cathartic none-the-less, was the removal of all the bits of yellow duct tape used to label the Faro buttons & other measurement points on all the mirrors & dotted around inside the SAC.
In a meeting to discuss how to proceed in aligning the SAC with the Rho Stage after the corrector's back up on the telescope, it was decided that it'd be great to have a laser that can be set up in the same mount that the alignment telescope uses. Not long after, Eben presented us with the new hardware that should do the job!
The real business of the day, however, was Fred's farewell party :( This icon of the SAAO & integral part of the whole Sutherland scene is retiring after 32 years in the observatory game... Memorable speeches by Darragh, Francois & Fred himself filled us with many wonderful memories & a huge sense of appreciation for the enormous contribution he's made to the SAAO & SALT & to the lives of the associated family of colleagues over the years.
Beer & a braai's never out of season, even in Sutherland in July!
For the record - no one was talking shop... Really.
Meanwhile, over in the kitchen the conversation was surely even more interesting.
Could Fred & Charl have been comparing mirror alignment stories? Probably not ;)
Siphelo & Zolisa - our 2 new SALT Operators have been trying all week to get Fred to agree to a brain transplant...
Sutherland said goodbye with a beautiful twilight & a line-up of Mercury, Venus, Mars & Saturn!
The end of an era indeed... Ons mis vir jou al klaar, Meneer!