Liam Hardy – Astronomy

Name: Liam Hardy

Location: Thai National Observatory, Doi Inthanon National Park, Thailand, but usually Sheffield, UK.

What do you do? I’m an Astronomy PhD student at the University of Sheffield. We collaborate with the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, by lending them an instrument in return for observing time on their 2.4m telescope. I spent 6 weeks there last autumn commissioning the instrument and training the local staff on how to use it. The instrument is specially designed for fast (up to 100 Hz) imaging, which is useful for studying compact stellar systems which can rotate, pulsate or eclipse on short time scales.

What can I see? Here you can see the dome for the 2.4m telescope, which is located at 2457m above sea level, on the highest mountain in Thailand – Doi Inthanon. The telescope is built on top of a tower, to get the view above the tree line. You can also see the moon, and some high clouds, which are obviously bad news for observations!

When I’m not doing science I… I spend most of my time in Sheffield, and only get the chance to visit observatories a couple of times a year. I enjoy cycling, scuba diving, board games and juggling.