J a c k  I r e l a n d
Solar Physicist
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Tuesday February 23, 1999
"Pointing" and Pizza

    It is now 3:30 pm and finally I get some pointing information from one of the other instrument teams that we are making the joint observations with. The observations we want to take involve following a coronal hole as it moves across the surface of the Sun. This means we have to re-point CDS every time the coronal hole moves too far out of the CDS field of view. I check the pointing information I have been given and I don't get the same set of numbers. If we don't have the same numbers then we're not all looking at the same place and so the JOP becomes worthless. There now follows a long discussion on all the possible mistakes we could have made. It all boils down to basic trigonometry, a subject I first tackled when I was 13. After about 2 hours we finally agree on the pointing and go to our respective instruments to complete our observing plans.

6:15 pm comes, and the CDS Operation Engineer tells me we have 45 minutes until the end of current observations schedule. This means I have about 15 minutes to add the pointing to the plan so that the CDS Operation Engineer can send the plan up to the instrument on the spacecraft. I finish the plan just in time and it is sent up to the instrument. As far as I know the plan is OK. And that's the end of my work today.

But now it is time for me to go to my beginner's Japanese class (starting 7:30 pm) in Washington DC. I decided to learn Japanese mostly out of an academic interest in learning a non-European language. I studied Dutch at night classes in the UK, which I really enjoyed. Studying another language forces you to think in different ways, and Japanese is a very different way of thinking!

Back to Field Journals Menu Jack Ireland's Biography Jack Ireland's Journal    1     2     3    4