Dr. Rachel Smith and Michael Tucker just returned from observing massive young stellar objects across the Galaxy, using the NIRSPEC instrument on the Keck II telescope, atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii.
They toured the summit, including Keck Observatory on June 30, and had wonderful clear skies for observing on July 2 and 3!
A film crew joined the trip as part of a new VICE documentary in which Smith will be a featured scientist.
Tucker posing with Keck I and II in the background, Mauna Kea
View of adjacent telescopes atop Mauna Kea
Tucker in front of the Keck II 10-meter mirror, inside the dome
Smith in front of NIRSPEC, covered to keep dust away when not in use
Crew and others on the Keck II bridge, inside the dome
Reflections in one of the extremely reflective mirror segments, in storage in Keck's “mirror barn”
Tucker and the film crew (including visiting microbiologist Luke McKay) discuss observing at Keck II Headquarters, Waimea
Smith and Tucker observing massive young stars with NIRSPEC on Keck II
Tucker taking data with NIRSPEC