So, at the start of January I was once again placed onto Furlough. Working as I do for Greene King Pub Company, it seemed inevitable! This time, for Lockdown 3.0, Greene King have really gone to town, with nearly 90% of the workforce on furlough. But this time of years is usually our quietest, so it makes sense I suppose. I work on the wider IT department (field based), and deal with pub refurbs and all that's shut down for now. I'm part of the 'start up' team, so when we get the nod from Boris that the pubs can open again, I will be pulled back to help get 2400 pubs open and trading again!
So, I'm sat at home again, across the table from my 13 year old lad as he does his home schooling. However, this time I have decided to use the time I have constructively and I have been doing various online courses to keep my brain active! Greene King have an online library, and I have worked through all the relevant courses on there, so had a look online. The Open Universities 'Open Learn' website has loads of free courses, ranging in levels from total beginner to advanced. There are quite a few astronomy related ones, and so far I have completed. Some are very easy, but fun to do while others are more in depth with a lot of maths . . . . !!
Moons of our Solar System
An Introduction to Exoplanets
And I am currently working through 'Astronomy with an Online Telescope'. This one is pretty easy, but the main sell is you get to use the OU's CoAST Telescope on Mt Teide on Tenerife!! While the use is limited to 3 minute exposures, as long as I'm doing course I can put in requests for it to take pics of whatever subjects I ask for! CoAST is a 14" SCT (Celestron) on a 10Micron GM4000 mount. So, while I don't have the skills required, or the spare £70k to have my own set up like this, I am really excited to be able to use it online like this. Here is the scope:
and a few of the images I have captured (all single 3 min exposures):
Basic shots I know, but when I got the first ones back I was so pleased!! I have some more targets pending, but weather on the mountain has been snowy and poor, so there is about a weeks delay in getting pics back.
Thanks for reading!