Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Different Problem

In Astronomy, the goal is often to obtain telescope time for a project. Some telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope or the new ALMA array in Chile, are especially competative as quite literally everyone could use the information from observations with those facilities to further their topic. Some are not quite as over-subscribed but it is still a competition. You really have to make you case well every time.

I quite enjoy writing proposals since it requires enthusiasm, honing my writing skills and the page limit kind of puts a lid on the usual caveats (a halfway-decent scientist always points all the possible flaws and weaknesses in their own method but no space for that in a proposal!).

So I tend to write a fair number of proposals...but I never expect the majority of them to make it. Especially in the case of the most competitive observatories. This round however, I won two separate observing runs on the William Herschel Telescope on La Palma and time on the JCMT telescope in Hawaii! And four (!) of the proposals I was on, made it for Hubble! I haven't even heard from ESO yet...

Now I'll need travel money to get there. A different problem altogether. A luxury one for sure but still a bit of an issue in the time of budget restrictions etc.

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