After a long night and a short sleep, the Manchester/SSRL team spun into action in the early hours of this morning and the first tentative scans of a 50 million year old fossil began!
It took us till 19:00 hours to complete the whole scan, point analyses and spectroscopy measurements, but then we removed the fossil from the x-ray 'spit', only to be immediately replaced by a much, much younger menagerie...a mere few millions of years old! The new group of beasties, hence menagerie, were carefully mounted onto the stage by Bart van Dongen, Nick Edwards and myself, whilst Roy Wogelius, Victoria Egerton and Bill Sellers sorted the next scan parameters.
The next few hours we will be sorting scan ranges for our 'pinned' fossils, so that we may maximize our scan times and recover the best possible data. I think the bulk of us will be lucky to see bed this side of 4am tomorrow....but this said, its all worth it!
....but then, the beam started to drift....not good...here begins another very long and sleepless night!