I thought I also should write a bit about the work we did in Utah. Yes, we actually had time to do some work between all the sight seeing.

As I wrote last week, the reason we went to Utah was that it has good conditions to view air showers and that’s why TA – Telescope Array – has set up shop there. We have built a small detector in front of one of their optical telescopes. The main objective of our detector, EUSO-TA – Extreme Universe Space Observatory at Telescope Array – is to first show that the detector works, take measurements of two separate lasers which will be firing into the sky to simulate an air shower, take measurements on the night sky back ground and ultimately hopefully be able to observe an actual event. Now the last point is extremely difficult given how rare these events are.

This trip was actually the second campaign to Utah. The first was two years ago, and I was obviously not part of it. Although, as far as I know there was little success at that time due to problems with the electronics.
Above: Me with (R->L) the Black Rock Mesa FD Telescope, the EUSO shed and the Electron Beam Facility in the background.

When we arrived our colleagues had already been in Delta for about 10 days. So basically everything was already up and running. Although no good observations had been made.

The TA Florescent Detector (FD) can only operate during “dark time” which is night time when the moon has not yet risen. We had planed to start our work before dark time so that we could run around outside the control room with flash lights without disturbing TA operations.

We started the observations by trying to see blinking diodes and a high powered hand held laser, see picture.
Yes, I know. It does look like a light sabre from Star Wars.

We also tried to observe stars but we had some difficulties in the beginning. Therefore Marco suggested I’d build a UV-filter using the same type of UV-filter we have in the detector for my camera. However, we only had UV filter pieces about 2×2 cm² and since the diameter of the lens is 77 mm I had to MacGyver together this:
And surprisingly enough it actually worked…
I did manage to see the stars when the filter was mounted on the camera. Unfortunately I do not have any good pictures of that at the moment. I’ll maybe update the post with such a picture later.

More to follow….