Archive | October 2011

FTP automatically

A friend of mine asked me to help with an FTP issue he was having recently. This reminded me of some older code I had to automatically FTP files to another server. I tend not to do this with FTP these days – I tend to remotely sync with rsync or some tool like that. Anyway, FTP can be really useful if you are trying to go through a list of files or something like that. Here is a little script that allows you to FTP files (in bash) without much hassle or the need to use the FTP console (note the example is for ascii mode):

ftp -n -v $HOST << EOT
cd whereyouwannput it
put yourfile.txt
sleep 12

Croatia: Plitvice Lakes National Park

The third part of my summary of our trip to Croatia… this time we went to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. it was a bit of a drive from Rovinji, something like 700km round trip – but not too early a start but quite late at getting back. It was worth every second of travelling though. To be honest I’d quite like to go back to the Plitvice Lakes and spend a bit longer. Looks like there would be lots of nice walks to have around the place.
The [Plitvice Lakes] are the largest national park in Croatia and contain something like 16 lakes but lots of little pools too. We didn’t have chance to go around them all bit did quite a large area – there is a boat to get over one of them which helps quite a lot, otherwise well you’d be hiking for a solid day I reckon (possibly longer).
The water in the lakes was just crystal clear as can be seen by these fish:
as you can see the water has a bit of an emerald colouration and really reminded by of the colour of the lakes in [Banff national park]:
There are waterfalls everywhere! Including this huge 78m one (Veliki Slap):
but there are also a few prominent smaller ones:
The walk wasn’t too bad but on occasion you do realise that what you are walking on looks a little unsteady. I’m sure its fine but I’m not convinced this is the place to go if you find walking difficult..
It was a great day out and a place I’m very pleased we went to see. On the way back we even stopped for some brandy (yes, I bought a bottle from the roadside too – it has the words medical on it but I didn’t notice that until we were back on the road!) and saw some evidence of the Yugoslavian wars of not too long ago:

M82 – Cigar Galaxy

M82 - Cigar Galaxy
Cigar Galaxy taken at Wast Hills

Croatia: Pula & Groznjan

The second part of our trip to Croatia…. we went out on a trip to Pula the largest city in Istria and then up to a hilltop town, Groznjan.
Pula is on the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula, we actually flew into Pula airport, but really wasn’t far from Rovinj about an hour or so. The main site of Pula has to be the wonderfully preserved Roman Colosseum:
I think it has to be up their will El Djem (in Tunisia) in how complete it is – and like El Djem its still used.
There are lots of Roman sites still around the town, including the Arch of the Sergii,
the Temple of Roma and Augustus,
and a roman mosaic, (which is very odd to find and I’ll probably write a post on this experience later, in essence its behind a bank next to a car park):
apart from the Roman sites there is also the middle age era Chapel of St. Mary Formosa (which looked like was having an archaeological dig in the back) :
and the late Romanesque style Church of St. Francis (13th Century):
We didn’t have long in Pula so that’s about all that we saw.
We then went up to mountain top village of Groznjan, which has only 185 people living there – mostly artists. Not a bad place to be inspired:

Croatia: around Rovinj

Our proper honeymoon was to Croatia, it was absolutely beautiful. I took so many photos on this holiday and we saw so many fantastic things. Croatia was just lovely. Basically I’m going to write a few posts – with the intention of making them smaller and not ranting on too much – about where we went.
Lets start with Rovinj (which is in Istria) since this is where we were based. Its actually quite a small town that must survive of tourism. It really quite beautiful with lots of little streets and reminded me a lot of Venice (it was part of the Venetian empire so kind of makes sense – it was from 1283 to 1797 a rather important town in Istria under the Republic of Venice.). Saying that there were also a bunch of Austrian looking buildings too. I guess that’s a sign of who has owned the place in the past. We stayed in a hotel that was surrounded by a forest and about a minute walk to the sea. The water was so clear. I don’t recall ever seeing the see so clear – a bit rocky but once we bought some shoes it was fine and you could see so many fishes.
I’d say the main feature of the town is the Church bell tower of the Church of S. Eufemia:
You can even go up it, which though a little rickety was well worth the view and is probably the cheapest tower I’ve ever been up:
Looking over Rovinj from tower
The whole town doesn’t take too long to walk around but the harbour area is quite nice and full of places to get ice cream to cool you down, and shopping if you are that way inclined:
There is also this piece of sculpture in the harbour area, but I never did figure out what it was of or by:
Oh and just to emphasis the water clarity:
We also saw some fantastic sunsets from Rovinj:
Generally it wasn’t too expensive in Rovinj – but then again we were pretty well catered for at our hotel.. not the best food but we did go half board which felt a bit odd to be honest – not our normal way of traveling. More to come on Croatia.

Jupiter and Moons

On Thursday night I went along to Astrosoc – the University of Birmingham Astronomical Society for the first time in around 2 years. Was good fun – we even got to do some astronomy once the clouds departed at around 10. Jupiter was looking lovely and I couldn’t miss the chance to get out my smart phone and do a bit of projection imaging (with a small dobsonian) …
Jupiter and moons
No detail is clear on Jupiter but you can nicely see the Galilean moons. I’m rather pleased with this – might have to try and do that again.

^M hell…

Why does my script not work? Why does the interpreter throw some stupid error – oh yeah its probably because the file was saved in windows and now has lots of ^M’s in it. Its simple to remove these, and well I’ve written about this [before] – so was nice and quick this morning to figure that out 🙂 – once I realized that was the issue. In essence (for once) vi is your friend.

Combining measurement sets

Something I’m bound to forget how todo, as I don’t do it very often, is to combine to measurement sets in CASA. So here is a quick reminder…

concat(vis=[‘’,’’], concatvis=’’)

I tried this on a GMRT dataset combining the USB and LSB data and it seems to have worked correctly (well I’ll find out once I’ve done the imaging!)

A trip out to Lords Bridge

My first visit to the remnants of Lords Bridge railway station was today. Of course this is where the visitors centre is for the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory (MRAO)… given I’ve been working at the Cavendish for 5 months it was actually great to get out and see the site. So much fantastic astrophysics has been discovered using the telescopes of these sites. I do always enjoy going out and seeing big dishes…
Here is an antenna from the one mile telescope:
One-Mile Telescope Antenna
which has seen better days:
One-Mile Telescope Antenna
There are a bunch of other fantastic (and retired) telescopes there including the Interplanetary Scintillation Array (important for the discovery of pulsars):
Interplanetary Scintillation Array
and the cylindrical 4C array:
4C Array
Finally there is the cutting edge research of the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager (AMI) which looks in the small array like you walked into a scene from a scifi movie of the past:
Arcminute Microkelvin Imager

New paper: Optical observations of Ultra Steep Spectrum radio sources

I have had a paper accepted for publication in the [Bulletin of the Astronomical Society of India] on some optical observations I completed with the [Liverpool Telescope] during my thesis work. These observations were to find out whether some radio sources we found during our low frequency survey (with the [GMRT]) were infact high redshift radio galaxies. Alas the optical observations didn’t detect anything, which of course means that we can say they aren’t nearby sources and we can put a limit onto their redshifts. If you fancy taking a read of it see: [arxiv:1110.2467].