Turn in your results by the morning after your run.

UAT11.01 Scavenger Hunt Ob: ALFALFA Observing Run

This scavenger hunt will investigate the observing procedures and how the data are monitored.

Useful links:
  • Using Arecibo for ALFALFA
  • A2010 observer's page including Observing Checklist .

    Rules of the scavenger hunt:
            1.   Experienced observers shall not reveal the answers to first timers until sufficient effort is expended. (And, any bribes must be shared 50:50 with the Scavenger Hunt creators.)
            2.   You may consult any ALFALFA webpages but please be sure to indicate where you got your information. If you find any mis-information, make a note so we can correct the page.

    Observing Parameters

    Ob.0   How many monitors are at the observer's computer?

    Ob.1   What CIMA windows are visible and what do they tell you?

    Ob.2   At what azimuth and zenith angle are we observing? Is this north or south of the zenith?

    Ob.3   What declination are we observing? How is the zenith angle related to the declination?

    Ob.4   Why can't we move the telescope to a zenith angle greater than 16 degrees tonight?

    Ob.5   What is a "drift"?

    Ob.6   What is the scan number and what does the number sequence mean?

    Ob.7 What is the fits file name of the current drift?

    Ob.8   What is the LST range of the current drift?

    Ob.9   What is the power in Beam 4.0?

    Ob.10   What are the tiedowns and are they active?

    Ob.11   For what other project are we acquiring data? What do ALFALFA observers do to make this possible?

    Ob.12   Enter a line in the log. Write your entry here:

    Monitoring the Data

    While observing we monitor the data in two ways: via the alfadatawin widget on the dataview computer at right and via the quicklook IDL program.

    Ob.13   What plots are available through the alfadatawin widget? What is meant by "waterfall" plots?

    Ob.14   Is the San Juan airport radar visible in the drifts? How do you know? What does it (would it) look like in the waterfall plots?

    Ob.15   Can you see HI line emission from galaxies in the alfadatawin plots?

    Ob.16   What does RFI, such as the San Juan airport radar, look like in the plots? Is the radar on tonight?

    Ob.17   What would a continuum source look like in the waterfall plots?

    Ob.18   What would GPS look like in the waterfall plots?

    Ob.19   What is plotted using the quicklook program?

    Ob.20   Describe the appearance of the data in quicklook. What is causing the peaks?

    Ob.21   In what famous 1975 movie does the scientist say to the character named Riff Raff "Well, see if you can find him on the MONITOR!"

    Ob.22   SPECIAL QUESTION FOR OBSERVERS AT THE END OF THE 2010 OBSERVING BLOCK Exactly how much time does it take to run the TOGS script?

    Common Observing Problems

    One of the ALFALFA Team's mottos is "Boring is good!" We always hope that observing will be boring. However sometimes observing problems do occur and we want to be prepared to deal with them quickly to minimize loss of observing time. ALFALFA keeps a list of documented observing problems. Hopefully you won't experience a problem firsthand during your session! During your session, your observing lead will describe a common problem. Use this space to explain the problem and summarize how to handle it.

    Ob.23   Describe the observing problem.

    Ob.24   Describe how to solve the problem.

    This page created by and for the members of the ALFALFA Survey Undergraduate team

    Last modified: Sun Jan 16 11:55:34 AST 2011 by martha