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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Madrid [20130619|08:41]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Earlier this month I was in Madrid for a meeting at ESAC, the European Space Astronomy Centre. It's actually about a half-hour drive from the centre of Madrid in the hilly countryside, since putting big satellite dishes in the middle of a city is generally neither wise nor effective.

ESAC is a much smaller site than ESTEC (in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, where I was at the end of May) and is less restrictive about on-site photography since little (or possibly no, I'm not sure) hardware development takes place there. Hence, pictures of dishes and spacecraft models!

One big dish and one small dish nestled amongst the trees at ESAC.

My Cluster boss inspects the Rosetta 1:4 scale model. Rosetta's solar panels span 32 metres. It's heading for a comet and is due to rendezvous with it in the middle of next year (2014).

Two big dishes poking their heads out above the trees.

Wildflowers grow everywhere on site.

The scale model of the Herschel space telescope, which ceased operations earlier this week. RIP Herschel.

A ruined castle sits on the hill above the site. It's on private land, so this is about as close as you can get. This explains why the dishes are non-ideally located on the slopes of the hill rather than at its apex.

One more dish shot, outlined against a deep blue sky.

The swish new conference centre in which our meeting was held.

Scientists having a coffee break.

My hotel room was on the seventh floor, so I had some rather nice views over the city from my window.

At dawn.

Late afternoon.

After the meeting, the correct course of action was to go out for tapas and beer.

Scientists and beer. They haven't had much beer yet and are still looking a bit serious.

Order with care from the English menu. ("Scranbled eggs with potatoes and hash, 9 euros". Difficult to work out if that's expensive or quite a good deal really...)

Delphine and Arnaud think Harri hasn't had enough beer yet.

Matt and Sinead are starting to have difficulty taking Harri seriously.

No really, Harri, apply yourself to your beer. Arnaud's glass is empty!

Things at the other end of the table are getting more relaxed with Tomas, Steve and Andrew.

OK, if you must, apply yourself to the meat, Harri.

Matt will help.

Onward to the bar, where Matt and Steve put the world to rights.

Bedtimes for [personal profile] nanilas.

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/884344.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.

[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2013-06-19 13:14 (UTC)
Both times I've been at ESAC, I've been standing there and looking wishfully towards the castle. Such a pity that one cannot hike up there!

As as far as menu goes: "grilled ear" does sound interesting, too :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-06-26 14:35 (UTC)
It's too bad, especially since it must be unoccupied.

I forgot, there was something else on the menu that had translated as "Smurfs (anchovy and anchovy)".
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2013-06-20 02:14 (UTC)
The dish shots are very cool! Did you get to go up/in any of them?

Cluster boss is a hilarious title!

9 Euros for that breakfast seems really pricey...

So do any of them have astronomy tattoos? Or does the guy with the full sleeve have Japanese tats?

You look good and like you've lost all of your baby weight!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-06-26 14:37 (UTC)
No, there was no time for a tour at the meeting, sadly.

Most of the expensive plates of tapas were really huge! A single plate like that gave all thirteen of us at least a few mouthfuls.

As far as I'm aware the guy with the full sleeves is the only one with tattoos. And he does have astronomy tattoos. He's got all four of the Cluster spacecraft on his leg.

I haven't lost all of my baby weight. Most of it, but I need to ramp up the exercise to get rid of the rest.
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