Meet the Dew Eater - a device crafted by Bill Gillespie to direct a stream of dry N2 over the face of the dewar of the Flamingos near-IR imaging spectrograph. I am holding the Dew Eater (my only contribution was the decoration) just before its installation in the instrument (blue box). This proved necessary because of condensation which would form on the dewar window right in front of the detector. The device consists of a hose attached to a spreader (a crushed toilet paper tube) swaddled in generous amounts of duct tape to hold it together and aim it at the right angle. (Red Green would be proud.) The beast was placed adjacent to the dewar window, attached by double-sided tape on its bottom. A flow substantial enough to feel was required to keep the dewar window clear.
The photo was taken by Bill; we are standing inside the Cassegrain focus cage of the Kitt Peak 4 m telescope. This was taken 11 October 2003; the run to that point had been troubled by bad weather and the condensation problem. Dew eater worked like a charm, and the weather cleared up shortly after this bit of midnight madness, enabling some productive observing.
For more pictures, see Bill's page.