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Born to Heterodyne

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Uploaded on Mar 8, 2009

The HIPWAC co-investigators were born to heterodyne, and the staff of the IRTF observatory makes it a reality! At the "Hotel Mauna Kea" on the Big Island of Hawai'i, Ted, Tim, Kelly, and Ramsey observed with the HIPWAC spectrometer, whose spectral resolving power is greater than 1,000,000 (trust us, thats good!). "We want resolved spectra lines! We were born to heterodyne!"

"Born to Heterodyne" is a parody of Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild" by Mars Bonfire.

HIPWAC stands for Heterodyne Instrument for Planetary Wind And Composition, a very high-resolution mid-infrared heterodyne spectrometer...like a radio receiver for the infrared, with CO2 lasers as the local oscillators. We take a zero scan and then integrate on a source...Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Titan...whatever the source of the evening might be! The fully-resolved molecular emission or absorption line shapes give us information on atmospheric composition, temperature, winds..good stuff! However, it cannot be done without the fabulous Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) staff...we featured some of the summit day crew and the telescope operators, but there are many more who make that observatory a much sought-after place to study astronomical objects both inside and outside our solar system. As requested, here are the lyrics:

Get your motor running,
Head up Mauna Kea!
Lookin' for some spectra,
At the IRTF!

Yeah HIPWAC go make it happen,
Take a zero and integrate,
Fire all of your lasers at once,
And explode into space.

George and Lars are waiting,
With Imai, Sammy, Maury,
Ready to hoist HIPWAC,
To the focus Cassegrain.
Bill's driving infrared alignment,
Dave moves the shutter out of the way,
Paul's setting planetary assignment,
Eric's on in the day.

We want resolved spectral lines!
We were born to heterodyne!
Resolution so high,
Let's go up on the sky!

Born to heterodyne!
Born to heterodyne!

Ted and Tim and Ramsey,
Juan and John and Kelly,
Dave and Tilak back home,
Hope for high signal-to-noise!

Yeah HIPWAC go make it happen,
Take a zero and integrate,
Fire all of your lasers at once,
And explode into space.

We want resolved spectral lines!
We were born to heterodyne!
Resolution so high,
Let's go up on the sky!

Born to heterodyne!
Born to heterodyne!

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