MagAO-X 2022B Day 12: Wait, we’re already doing science?

After an eventful 24 hour day, a record might have been broken at the Las Campanas Observatory; we have welcome 3 more University of Arizona scientists, making a total of 12 Arizonians on the Chilean mountains.

Clay telescope with opened dome

Second night on sky began with the customary group sunset viewing photo taken by UA Professor Xiaohui Fan.

“I don’t always drink. But when I do, it’s 2 Fantas and a hot tea.”

With Avalon’s efforts, 10 low order wavefront sensing modes were closed on sky for the first time! “10 might not seem like a lot, but don’t most close on 2?”

Avalon and Jared working together on closing the loop.

Science targets were observed while working towards engineering goals throughout the night. Sebatiaan captured beautiful images of R Aqr. If you’d like to see them, like, comment, and subscribe to this blog to hear the newest updates. Warren continued on PIAA alignment and tested it on a binary, possibly multiple star system, HD 20121.

One’s looking happy because of closed loop and the other because of science.

PDS 201 is the first target observed for the Max Protoplanet Survey on this run. With the great seeing around 0.4, the 3 hour observation through its transit resulted in the total of about 80K high quality images. This also means a grad student will be reducing data happily throughout the next day. And the night ended with some more effort in engineering, characterizing vibration and making Strehl measurements.

Aligning the pupils to observe PDS 201

While in the kid’s lounge… some might say they are having too much fun.

Apple pencil Mystery/Saga: “It’s like looking for your glasses when they are on your face.”
“Joseph looks like a puppy about to be kicked in the face.”
“That’s what tech support does to you.”
There’s always a new way to wear MagAO-X swag!

Since we went on a journey yesterday, let’s go on a getaway today!

MagAO-X 2022B Day 7: First Team Photo Captured!

First post from Jialin, a new astronomy grad of the MagAO team! As a part of the Gen-Z crew that arrived yesterday, I spent today in my “bubble” keeping myself busy with work and olive counting while waiting for the arrival of MagAO-X. We should be freed tomorrow at 10am after our final COVID test. Shout out here to Joseph for coffee delivery to everyone in the “bubble” and Sebastiaan for his generous donation of the spare coffee machine.

The number of olives served today was surpringly low, merely 10.

To balance the calories consumed and burned, Avalon, Eden, and I went for a scenic walk to the 100-inch after lunch. We spotted the first guanacos since our arrival and managed to capture them with just “5 pixels”.

MagAO tradition of excrement-covered mirror selfies!
Spot the guanaco(s)?
Putting some pretty flowers seen on the walk so not all photos are selfies.

With full attendance (of those who are physically here at LCO), we went for an expedition attempting to spot the green flash at the robotic telescopes. We witnessed the sunset as well as the opening of the HATPI telescope (video below), which can detect a variety of different objects, from near-earth asteroids and exoplanets around bright stars to novae and bright gamma-ray bursts.

Group viewing of the HATPI telescope after it opened.
Warning sign outside the robotic telescope.
Robotic telescope cover opening

With the help of Joseph’s tripod, here is the first 8-person team photo of this run! We are all smiling 🙂


Song of the Day

Non-mandatory explanation of my choice of song: first recommendation from Youtube after listening to yesterday’s song of the day!