February 4th 2008. I entered the building at the corner of Wilson and California for what was to become my new workplace. I had been here many times before as a student: to visit, once for a 2 week collaboration, once for a job interview that didn’t work out. But now I was excited – I was going to work at the Spitzer Science Center, with the telescope of the same name, among other things. This was my new academic home.
And what an exciting time it was. The halls were all abuzz, new postdocs, young staff, excited grad students almost entirely taking over that building. Tuesday bagels, Friday martinis, lunches and cigarettes on the roof. And of course, the walks to IPAC down the road or the brand new Cahill building – journal club at red door cafe. When the 2008 Euro Championship was played, it wasn’t Italy against Portugal or France against Greece – it was Claudia against Paola, Nicolas against Kalliopi, everybody hailed from all over the world. And all throughout my work, there was the clock that yielded Spitzer’s operation time.
Then in 2009, sad excitement – the cold mission was over, it had lasted about a month longer than expected, but even that was to come to an end. No more amazing IRS spectra, beautiful 24/70 micron MIPS images (come on, 160 micron was crap and you know it, heh). But on we went, Mark Lacy, my supervisor having just gotten a large IRAC program accepted.
And so I am sad that today Spizter is turned off. Thanks for the beautiful data, thanks for a great first postdoc at the Spitzer Science Center, thanks for letting me meet the great people responsible for that telescope. Godspeed, little telescope that could!