Picture of the Week #12

M 110 (NGC 205), satellite galaxy of the Andromeda Galaxy, taken with the Prime Focus Camera on the 30-inch telescope at McDonald Observatory in 1997 (AASTRA participants took the images and then I combined them into the final color image you see here.)

Picture of the Week #11

The Star of India, a star sapphire. American Museum of Natural History, New York. August 2006.

Another rock this week, but instead of a piece of Mars we have what is probably the largest star sapphire in the world. I loved the Gems and Minerals Hall at the AMNH and I never get tired of looking at similar exhibits in other museums. Lots of SHINY!

Picture of the Week #10

Moonrise after an evening storm, August 2005

Since tonight is the Harvest Moon for 2008 (at least according to the tradition of "full moon closest to the autumnal equinox"), I thought it was time for another moon photo.

Picture of the Week #9

Overview of part of the Texas Petawatt Laser. Robert Lee Moore Hall, University of Texas campus. August 28, 2008.

When I first heard about the giant new laser that UT was building, I had it in my brain that it was out at our Pickle Research Campus, so imagine my surprise to find it is in the basement of my own building! I've been a student or an employee in this building for 18 years (now, literally, half my life) and going to the laser open house gave me my first opportunity (that I can recall) to go to the first floor of this building. For the record, the ground level is the 4th floor. I know, it makes no sense.

When I was a student, the "technology in the basement" was a Tokamak, and now it's a big giant laser. At least there weren't any lawsuits or death threats over our nifty new piece of science equipment, unlike with the Large Hadron Collider.