Dunsink Lane, Dublin 15, D15 XR2R

DIAS Summer Interns 2023 #2

This week Chris and I (Seosamh) had the pleasure of spending the week in Dunsink Observatory to work closer with the SuperSID receiver in Dunsink and improve and optimise the presentation and consistency of the data being published to the database.

We began our week in the basement of Dunsink where the PC connected to the SuperSID lies. We spent time getting familiar with machine and the python code and identified a few key problem areas. We ran into issues such as outdated python modules, Syntax errors in file names and caching errors on the live database online, but with time spent sifting through code and trial and error we eventually managed to succeed in fixing all these bugs and we are proud to announce that Dunsink’s SuperSID receiver is uploading data consistently and can be accessed through Dunsink’s website or via this link:

Professor Peter Gallagher was kind enough to give us a tour of Dunsink Observatory and talk to us about some of the rich history in Physics and astronomy it possesses. This includes the room where Sir William Rowan Hamilton lived and transformed fundamental Theoretical Physics with Hamiltonian mechanics and even where he coined the terms “vector” and “scalar”. As well we were shown the clock that Dublin Mean Time was based off back in the year 1880 with the likes of RTE calling on occasion to resynchronise their clocks with that of Dunsink. Most importantly Dunsink houses 2 great observatories with telescopes and retractable roofs where Hamilton and colleagues observed space and noted the time and the angle of elevation when they observed certain stars all the way back in 1791.

We were also fortunate enough to observe an M-class flare just as we finished fixing the Dunsink SuperSID. This was observed on Wednesday the 27th and peaked at around 15:00 UTC. This was a great demonstration that the Dunsink data was uploading properly again as well as being another example of how the SuperSID in general can be used to detect solar flares.

Next week, we plan to upgrade the SuperSID receiver in Birr with a Linux VLF machine and we hope to begin optimising the way the data is displayed by making the graphs more interactive. A big thanks to everyone at Dunsink Observatory for making out visit as welcoming, educational, and as enjoyable as possible.