On Jan 17, NBA Hall of Famer, one of “50 Greatest Players in NBA History,” and iconic Deadhead Bill Walton came to town to be the color commentator for the UA-Oregon men’s basketball game. Whenever Walton is a commentator ESPN has a 2-minute feature called “Walton’s World.” In this episode, Bill visited the MagAO-X lab at Steward!
On September 17, 2018, we got our first look at the MagAO-X vAPP (that’s “vector apodizing phase plate”) coronagraph optic. Kelsey Miller had been working with the phase pattern for a long time, but there’s something special about holding it with your own hands. Or, at any rate, watching the P.I. hold it with his own hands.
Proto3 has been detached from MagAO, and now MagAO is fully put away. Since this (northern hemisphere) fall will extremely busy with work on MagAO-X, it’ll be a whole year before we’re back here.
My check list for today:
Switch back to a day schedule all in one go
Take the last final exam for my first year of graduate school
Remove a 1000+ lb piece of scientific equipment from the top of a three-story tall machine
I’m happy to report that I accomplished all three, though it may be more accurate to say that I was a minor contributor to the last task. It takes a whole crew to remove the adaptive secondary mirror from the Magellan Clay telescope, and my main contribution was to help Laird keep all the various power, data, and coolant lines from getting away during the disconnect process. (Pink zip ties are the astronomer’s best friend.)
Since I was not operating a crane or lifting 80 lb load spreader bars by hand, I was able to document the process. Enjoy!
Tomorrow, we leave LCO for La Serena (and Santiago and Dallas and Tucson, hopefully without issue). We’ll be back next year!
Last, but not least, here’s a song of the day about looking through the wrong end of a telescope.
(Lucius – Turn it Around)
And here’s a cover version I dug up by someone with cool hair: