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LIGO Livingston Observatory News

First NSF Review at Livinston

Figure 1.

First NSF Review at Livingston

- Contributed by Gerry Stapfer

The National Science Foundation (NSF) conducted its most recent semi-annual review of the LIGO Project on April 27 through April 29 at the LIGO Livingston Observatory (LLO). As was the case last October at the Hanford Observatory, this was the first time an NSF review was conducted at the Livingston site.

The status of the project was summarized by LIGO Director Barry Barish, shown in Figure 1 at right. This was followed by detailed presentations providing an overview of progress at the two observatories. The status of the detector installation and an outline of the commissioning approach comprised the first day's formal presentations.

After a day of intense meetings, all the participants were invited to one of our favorite local customs for this time of year, the Crawfish Boil. For those of you who aren't native Louisianans, Crawfish are small fresh water shrimps. They are boiled live, without a shred of pity, right on the premises and then hot Cajun spices are mixed in with the boiling water. To guarantee a mouth-watering flavor, abundant sausages are next dumped into the steaming brew. When it's all cooked, these delicacies are served up with boiled potatoes and corn on the cob. As is evident from Figures 2 and 3 below, a savorin' good time was had by all.

Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4.

Just to assure everyone that Science was indeed the topic for the meeting, as night set in Jonathan Kern, our resident optics expert, set up his telescope and aimed it at our planetary neighbors, and those interested could feast their eyes on the celestial heavens. As Figure 4 above at right attests, Jonathan had plenty of interested customers.