MetSoc social adventure

Like every good conference MetSoc offered trips out to different destinations for some socialising this afternoon. Choices have been baseball, football (MetSoc cup), wine tasting, or a lab tour which is the one I joined.

We visited the advanced light source (ALS) and the space science laboratory (SSL) which both have been fantastic.

One of the best things about them is that they are up on the hill so if you work there, you have a fantastic view for lunch every day.


You won’t get that view from any of the labs though because they are usually windowless. 😦


And yes, that is Al-foil which is used extensively in every laboratory worldwide to make things work, even at the ALS.

To be a bit more honest, the foil is used to keep the heat in when baking ultra-high vacuum instruments. This is done to get rid of hydrogen and water which sits on the inside walls and only pumps away very slowly otherwise.

At the SSL we had a look at the mission operation centre, the Genesis lab, and the Stardust lab and they even let us hold a piece if aerogel. Not the real Stardust one though but we get those when we ask for samples which we then analyse in our labs.


And I just hope they don’t realise that the sample is now missing from that microscope. 😉


About Torsten Henkel

I'm a research assistant at the University of Manchester studying mainly presolar grains but also comets and solar wind. I have been heavily involved in building two time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometers in our labs which is my main instrument to analyze samples.
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