"Heidi Stays Busy"

Heidi Hammel - February 23, 1996
Planet Advocate for Neptune

    I have been involved in various activities for the LHST project (science and non-science) and also other projects. Below I'll summarize:

* Science Planning for the LHST Images of Neptune

There really hasn't been much more action on my part for the LHST Neptune imaging. Once I got all the initial planning done (see 6 Jan 96 Journal), most of the work is done by the folks (namely Tony) at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

I did get one phone call from Tony, who was converting what I had written into the proper format to be used by HST. He asked why I had put in an "Orbital Longitude" (OLG) constraint, which would restrict the observations to a certain time of year that didn't include the LHST window! Ooops!

The answer to that was that I had used my previous Neptune plan as a blueprint, and in that plan I had put the OLG constraint in so that HST would look when Neptune was visible to ground-based observatories. That way, I could take pictures in the infrared as the same time that HST was doing its imaging (which is what I did last Fall, 1995, using the NASA Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii). But (obviously!) we didn't need that constraint for the LHST observations. I told Tony he could just go ahead and delete it.

I heard through the grapevine that our observations were set for next weekend. So I guess everything is going okay!

* Non-science LHST Plans

LaShunda sent email asking for more bio information. I've been pretty busy with other things, so I haven't answered her yet. I'll probably call her next week, since that's easier than typing in lots of stuff.

I got my hair cut this week, since it is awful to get a brand-new haircut just before doing a TV program (you feel extra nervous because you are not used to the way your hair feels). This way it'll have a few weeks to grow in and I'll get comfortable with it.

* Other Projects I've Been Working On

My biggest project recently was preparations for new HST observations of Uranus, to be taken sometime later this year or early next year. There are two parts to this. The first is planning the actual observations, which is a process just like I described in the 6 Jan 96 Journal for Neptune. The main challenge is that I have never used the HST to look at Uranus before, and so I have to be very very careful about exposure times. If you make a mistake, you don't get another chance. So no mistakes are permitted! It is somewhat scary. The second part of the planning is more mundane - preparing budgets for the funding that we will get after the data are taken. This may be boring, but it is important. These funds are what MIT used to pay my salary! Both parts of the Uranus project are done now, so I've moved onto the other big project: the Jupiter Occultation (to be described later).

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