MagAO 2018A Day 18: All Packed Up

Hi All,

As is tradition the PI will finish off the run with the last blog. This run marked our 7th year operating at LCO making great images and science. This run was no exception with great science delivered (despite the many clouds we encountered as winter is definitely coming). I’d like to thank all the LCO staff that did a great hosting us and I’d like to thank all the observers that came out to work with MagAO.

I’d like to show some great photos of the packing up process that was done in just one day (a new record).

Below is the ASM ready to be packed up and driven down to the clean room (where it will wait a year for us to come back — but we will come back).

ASM in Daylight
ASM in Daylight
ASM coming off
ASM coming off
Joseph fixes the stuck pin in the ASM cart
Joseph fixes the stuck pin in the ASM cart
Jared and Joseph with th ASM -- end of run!
Jared and Joseph with th ASM — end of run!

Admin Edit:
Post failed to include a song of the day, please see 2018A Blog Rules.
Therefore the admin will choose a song of the day:

And the cover gave me goosebumps:)

MagAO 2018A Day 15: Fringe Science

Read Below to find out what this odd looking video is!

Hi All,

Yesterday we mounted the SAO’s Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) dispersed fringe sensor prototype (Proto3 — Brian McLeod’s 3rd version — it keeps getting better). This is a complex set of infrared cameras and optics that mimic 3 of the GMT primary mirrors boundaries. It is basically a 2 slit experiment that interferes light (to make “fringes”) from the edge of each primary (where they almost touch) of the GMT. In this manner we hope to measure if one primary is slightly higher (out of phase in piston) with respect to the other primary — this will be a critical measurement to enable a diffraction-limited GMT in the future.

So that means we turned Magellan/MagAO into just 3 pairs of slits and look at the interference between the pairs. See photo below of the Magellan pupil with these 3 slits pairs superimposed over it.

The Proto 3 pupil — basically 3 double slits

The fringes produced by the 2 slits are then dispersed in the vertical direction — in this way it can capture/measure up to ~40 microns of piston between GMT segments.

In the photo below you can see the 1.1-1.3 micron (infrared) spectra of the fringes, here MagAO was locked on 300 modes.

Fringes from Proto3 ! The fringes are dispersed from red to blue (in the J band) from top to bottom — if there was piston between the slits the fringes would twist and look like a “barber-pole”.

Jan Kansky took this great photo of Proto3 (the box above Derek) mounted on the back of the NAS

Derek Kopon and Proto3

The main test of the system is to understand the “fringe behavior” when Proto 3 looks far away from the guide star that MagAO is correcting. Below we show a video of what the fringes look like when the fringes come from a star that is 6 arcminutes away from the guide star.

Movie of the fringes 6 arcminutes off axis from MagAO's guide star
Movie of the fringes 6 arcminutes off axis from MagAO’s guide star

So in keeping with tonight’s theme — here is a Fringe song about the TV show of the same name:

Here is a different version:

MagAO 2018A Day3: Closed-loop On Sky !

Today was a long and exciting day for the team.

This afternoon we mounted Clio on the NAS (the telescope + MagAO) and Katie and Phil got Clio cold and working with its brand new computer.

Despite a cloudy start to the night we did open and Jared tested the new 64-bit computers for MagAO, there were a few surprises about how to set the shell with so many bits. Jared figured out the troubles and a work around. We then ran for the rest of the night just fine for MagAO. Marco and Alfio also helped remotely from Italy — thanks guys!

Phil and Katie also debugged much of the brand new Clio software with lots of remote help from Paul Grenz (in Tucson) all night long. Great progress was made.

Phil, Katie, and Paul (on Skype) worked all day and night on Clio software.

We did make great diffraction-limited images of Alpha Cen with VisAO in SDI+ mode as well as on Clio. The AO seems to be running great again.

Jared enjoying SDI+

In the afternoon after Clio was mounted I had some time to photograph a wild vizzy bouncing along the rocks — they really can bounce!

A Vizzy on the move — they can bounce!

Since it was full of dark clouds tonight, here is a song about thunder…

and again