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Station Fire

Just a quick note about very relevant current events. Last week on Wednesday, a wildfire started a few miles away from JPL, up the Angeles Crest Highway. This ‘Station Fire’ has since grown to be huge. The main JPL campus (on Oak Grove) was closed over the weekend, and the fire line got quite close to here over the weekend – within a mile or so. But that part of the fire boundary was contained, and the active burning is not so close to the main JPL campus anymore, so it’s out of direct danger. Still, the Oak Grove part of the lab was closed for most people (like me) on Monday because of air quality concerns.

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Tour of JPL

On Wednesday, 12 August, during week 9 of the normal SURF period, Varoujan led the Astronomy summer student coffee group on a tour of JPL. Why so late? Well, at least one of the viewing galleries we were going to visit was closed prior to that, so late is better than never! And at least for me, my time out at JPL only led me to visit a couple of buildings, and none of the ones with the cool viewing galleries. So I was excited to see new things.

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Trip to Mt. Wilson

Monday evening was time for a field trip! Varoujan Gorjian and Tim Thompson, who hang out at the summer astronomy student coffee breaks (and do their parts to make them happen at all!), led an excursion up to Mt. Wilson. A few cars of people drove up, and then Tim was kind enough to lead us around. He’s trained as a tour guide up there, and he has keys to a bunch of the telescopes, so we got to see lots of stuff.

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