2015B Day 13: Amali wins the blog

Well, we hope you enjoyed yesterday’s blog post as much as we did! Amali’s clever and amusing artistry prompted us to develop the first-ever MagAO blog prize, and a new category of Award Winning Posts (at right). Here we present the 2015B MagAO Blog Award to Amali Vaz for her creation entitled A Post That Cannot Words:

Presenting: The first-ever MagAO Blog Award goes to Amali Vaz for 2015B! Trophy made possible by the old broken Clio funnel. Presented by Katie, witnessed by TJ, documented by Jared.
Amali wins the blog
Amali at work on her masterpiece last night

Well, we did have a bit of excitement, with the ship trying to give out on us, but Jared is not one to give up the ship, so he got to work on his RAID-1 array and the AO supervisor computer was none the wiser:

Jared at work on his masterpiece

And we opened at sunset and had a good night for TJ:

Clay opening at sunset

Mr. Psy Boone Bean worked out an issue with some J-band image elongation we had at the start of the night, which was related to aligning the camera, and not homing the camera lens:

We had some weird image elongation at J-band at the start of the night (left), which TJ fixed (right)

And we had a great night of good seeing and beautiful PSFs. Amali is on the next transport out of here — thanks for keeping the loop happy and the blog amusing! Safe travels and see you in Tucson!

For some reason, Men At Work singing about Down Under reminds me of Toto singing of Africa:

2015B Day 12: A Post That Cannot Words

Dear Gentle Readers:

My name is Amali and I come from the LBTI and while I am superlative in many ways, generating coherent sentences from real words is not one of them. However! Katie (after, perhaps, too many nights of my not-sentences) says I am allowed to just blog pictures and diagrams, so, here, CHECK OUT THESE SWEET FIGURES:


a. Here is the LBT, with salient features labeled. It is large, binocular, and a telescope.

Photo Nov 29, 6 30 44 AM
b. Here is Magellan! Also labeled. It is a Portuguese explorer dude from back in the day.

Photo Nov 29, 6 31 01 AM


a. The LBT is, ahem, not known for good seeing. Here, for instance, is a DIMM plot from an LBTI run that I stole from our blog. The DIMM bottoms out at 0.5″, and maxes at 3″, and on this particular night we went off the charts IN BOTH DIRECTIONS so take that you snootyfaces.

Photo Nov 29, 5 38 16 AM

b. Here is tonight’s Mag seeing, from Baade. 0.45, it says. I cannot even count below 0.5. I am sure that 0.45 is a very nice number, but, alas, it is not one I can comprehend.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 05.23.16

a. LBT is home to malicious flying dragon squirrels. They delight in whatsit, um, fancy word? Schadenfreude! Yes. And they accomplish this by breathing fire to mess up the seeing.

Photo Nov 29, 6 31 21 AM

b. Frankenrabbit has better things to do.

Photo Nov 29, 6 37 33 AM

a. We get this at LBT too: in good seeing the pupils get all sloshy. NO it is not TT overdriving! If anything, it’s underdriving…that stays underdriven until it’s overdriven. But that’s terrible! Good seeing should be a time of joy, not a time of tip-tilt messes and people going FIX UR GAINS KID!

Photo Nov 29, 6 37 51 AM

b. They start the entire AO lock with THREE BUTTONS which means you ONLY CLICK THREE TIMES and I get twitchy because things so simple can’t possibly be doing what I want, right? CLICK. MUST CLICK. CLICK CLICK. It is hard when things work! If I’d only clicked more gain buttons you wouldn’t have to look at all these diagrams!

Photo Nov 29, 6 38 01 AM

Photo Nov 29, 6 39 33 AM

TJ is here. I met TJ. I had not met TJ before, because he left just as I arrived, BUT he is the legendary scapegoat/mascot/dearly departed of LBTI, and I have spent many a night telling (completely made up) TJ stories. Like, remember the time TJ chased a goat into a bear’s nest and then fell off the mountain? That was epic. Anyway, my mental picture of TJ was kinda…part Daniel Boone, part Mr. Bean, and part Gangnam Style Guy.

Now that I’ve met him… I had him down pretty well, actually.

Photo Nov 29, 5 30 36 AM

Possibly this section is best left to the science types, but WHATEVER, I had to fill up some time without clicking things, so here.

a. VISAO! We looked at Sirius and the seeing was incomprehensibly good and Jared had this mesmerizing display of a visao psf. I can’t do it justice in drawings but here:

Photo Nov 29, 6 37 55 AM

b. Back when I was a spring chicken or something, my favorite thing was the APP, even though I’d never actually seen one in action. UNTIL TONIGHT because BOOM Katie got this on Clio:

Photo Nov 29, 6 37 46 AM

I <3 U APP

You guys, I HATE winter, what are you even doing, this is the summer world! Southern hemisphere, friends. WARM. DESERT. Like in this song. Also, the dance in the middle is LIEK TOTALLY TJ. …right?

2015B Day 11: Exposing the MagAO Team’s Lies

Regular readers of this blog have been hearing claims this entire run that the weather has been suboptimal and that the poor team has barely been able to take any data. I’m pretty sure this is just laziness on their part, because I’ve barely seen a cloud over the two nights I’ve been here:

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 3.14.37 AM

Beautiful weather at LCO
Beautiful weather at LCO

Tonight the seeing was great all night, the winds were low, and we got a lot of excellent data.

I don't know what they've all been complaining about!
I don’t know what they’ve all been complaining about: 0.3 mile-an-hour winds!

Maybe the universe just wants more M dwarfs to be observed! If you’re serving on a time allocation committee any time soon, keep this in mind.

Really, this has been a great run for us (well-timed to coincide with nice weather). Katie, Jared, and Amali were very helpful, as usual, with setting up the systems and keeping them running the whole time.

I did find something a little suspicious downstairs below the Clay control room:

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 3.15.38 AM

This seems like it would make transit photometry pretty easy, just spray a little on your instrument and get rid of all those pesky photons! Flux: removed.

Yesterday’s song was a Frozen/Passenger mashup, so we’re continuing the winter theme tonight with a song from the Decemberists.