MABA IN BEN’S OWN WORDS (March 6th)

Myself (Ben), Petr and Jan composed the team for observations in Maba. My role was to operate the four single wavelength cameras in the same setup as the other sites. Petr and Jan had white light amateur cameras to capture the full spectrum of the corona. We also had help from Garry and Jana during the first couple days to set up our observation site and align the cameras.

Our observation site in Maba is a large Indonesian government building. We set up our observation tent on a second floor balcony of the building with a fantastic view of the sky. The building is used as a meeting space for the local government across the island of North Maluku.

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After two days in Maba we had made friends with the driver and assistants assigned to help us during our time in Maba. They took a couple from our group to get some fresh coconuts for us to eat (I stayed behind to continue calibration of the cameras). Upon returning Garry told me that they were the first foreigners to have ever entered the village, apparently everyone in the village had to shake their hands and meet the foreigners.


Over the course of our time in Maba several reporters came and spoke with us. Some were from local and national newspapers, and one was even from CNN! Some of the reporters wrote that we were from NASA in their articles causing the Indonesian military to come and question us about who we were and who had invited us to use the government property for our observations. Thankfully after meeting with us and checking our passports they were convinced that we were not the US government employees and that we could continue with our planned observations.

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Newspaper Article

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