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The inside of the Perek telescope

Since late March the 2m mirror of the Perek telescope at Ondrejov Observatory has been sent for recoating. This process needs, of course, to disassemble part of the telescope, so internal parts are more visible. We grabbed this opportunity to take some shots of the telescope.

The room of the telescope.

The room of the telescope.

The telescope with Anthony at its bottom.

The telescope with Anthony at its bottom.

Really big bolts!

Really big bolts!

A look from the inside. The secondary is almost visible.

A look from the inside. The secondary is almost visible.

Detail of the mirror adjusters (over which the mirror sits).

Detail of the mirror adjusters (over which the mirror sits).

Anthony is wondering ...

Anthony is looking around these adjusters.

Winter is … here!

Winter-time observations in Ondrejov are bad and good at the same time. ‘Bad’ since the weather can be really nasty (clouds, humidity, rain, snow, …) so you can get nothing all night long or something for a short amount of time (‘spending’ a lot of time just waiting of course). On the other hand they can be ‘good’ as you have time ample time to observe. Last night I started around 1700 local time and finished at 0700, almost 14 hours of observations!

I am also scheduled for observations on December 22nd, which is the winter solstice – will I manage to maximize the observing hours?



UPDATE 21 Jan 2016: Well the weather was not at all good, so no record observing time this year!

Talk at the AsU Summer Interdepartmental Meeting 2015

Every three months there is a meeting among the departments of the Astronomical Institute. Each director presents some news in short, followed by a talk from a member of that department. At the Summer Interdepartmental Meeting of this year (held on Monday, 1st of June, 2015, in Ondrejov) I was “representing” the Stellar department, talking about:

“High-Mass X-ray Binaries in the Small Magellanic Cloud”

The abstract reads:
High-Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXBs) are a phase in the life of some binary stellar systems that consist of a compact object (black hole or neutron star) and a massive companion (an early OB-type star). Their X-ray emission is powered by the infall of matter, provided my the massive companion, into the strong gravitational field of the compact star. The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is a powerhouse of HMXB production (almost 100 systems), and due to its proximity we are able to investigate individual sources. However, we haven’t yet fully characterize its HMXB population. To address that we have initiated wide spectroscopic and Halpha imaging campaigns. I will discuss our results and how the SMC HMXB population compares with that of our Galaxy.

UPDATE 17 July 2015: A summary of my talk has been published in Czech at the site of the Astronomical Institute, and it can be found at:
Astronomický ústav AV ČR: “Pokroky ve výzkumu ve Stelárním oddělení: Studium superhmotných rentgenových dvojhvězd”.

Ondrejov Observatory with snow

A few weeks ago …

Ondrejov Observatory