It’s only day 2 of the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation Conference and already lots of interesting talks, lunch & learns, and posters are underway.
Dr. Richard Dekany gave an interesting talk on SIGHT, the Palomar 5m telescope LGS AO system, and highlighted the support of our very own Sebastiaan Haffert and Meghan O’Brien on the Optical Differentiation wavefront sensor.
The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Lunch & Learn brought up interesting points about international differences in approaches to EDI. There are more similar events and networking events throughout the week in room 514!
We supported fellow optical sciences grad student, Kevin Derby, from the UArizona Space Astrophysics Lab during his fantastic talk on pinwheel segmented primary apertures.
Since this lab just loves when things are “in-phase”, several of us attended a talk on the phasing of the James Webb Space Telescope by Scott Acton. He had some thoughtful words on his next steps as a scientist, “And that’s how you align the telescope. Now I need another job.”
On theme with space telescopes, we are finishing the night with UASAL graduate student, Jaren Ashcraft, presenting his poster on the Space Coronagraph Optical Bench – SCoOB.
The SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation conference is the main event for instrument builders world-wide, and this year is held in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. The conference is held every two years (because one year is nothing in instrument project timelines) and the last one would have been in 2020. (But then, the plague.)
Today, the first team member to speak was our fearless leader with a status update on MagAO-X Phase II and future plans.
Olivier Guyon gave us a version of his Spirit of Lyot talk, which was fortunate, because that gave some of us a second chance to absorb and understand it. (There’s a lot going on over at SCExAO!)
Sebastiaan was tapped to present as a substitute for a team member who wasn’t attending, and he gave us an overview of image quality calibration from WFS PSF deconvolution (work by Jacob Trzaska) and his own predictive control algorithm (Data-Driven Subspace Predictive Control—DDSPC).
It’s been a while since we had a Blog Rule, beyond the compulsory Song of the Day. So, here’s my rule for the week: les chansons doivent être en français.
(The songs must be in French.)
Bonus points for chansons Quebecois!
Song of the Day
Today when I went to get a coffee en route to conference registration, I opened with a “bonjour,” following the advice for anglophones in a francophone world. Then, I asked “English OK?” and the barista said “Yeah, sure! My French isn’t that good.”
Today I presented Kevin Wagner’s talk about searching for planets in 10 µm light. I think I did an okay job talking about things I know nothing about, but then, I do have plenty of practice.
Incredibly, people did ask me questions. In this rare instance, “beats me, ask someone else!” was a valid answer. (Actually, I’ve been running audience messages back and forth to Kevin on the Steward grad student Slack. Just not on stage.)
The only MagAO-X/XWCL member officially on the schedule for today was our fearless leader Dr. Jared Males.
I can’t speak for Jared, but I’m happy to be free of any further obligations beyond listening and enjoying the rest of the conference.
Themed Gallery 1: Pictures of PDS 70 b from SPHERE
Where are days 1 & 2 you ask? Um we didn’t blog those. *Sheepish grin*
Your favorite MagAO-X team is living it up in Leiden, Netherlands this week at the Spirit of Lyot conference – a conference devoted to bringing exoplanet direct imaging science and instrument builders together to unite the tech with the science. I’ve had a great time so far! This is my first astronomy in-person conference post-pandemic, and it’s great that every talk and poster is directly related to science I am excited about. I’ve met so many people both known and unknown to me previously, and am feeling re-invigorated and re-inspired about the work I’m doing.
Today was the first MagAO-X-focused talk by Leiden’s own Dr. Sebastiaan Haffert. He talked about his integral field spectrograph addition to MagAO-X, VIS-X. Here are some action shots:
MagAO-X team member Olivier Guyon and MagAO-X team friend Kate Follette also graced us with exciting science talks today. Additionally, I have a poster at the conference, which you can see here, and Joseph Long also has a poster!
Tomorrow will be action packed with talks by audience favorite Dr. Jared Males, and surprise special guest Joseph Long with an exclusive set delivering Kevin Wagner’s talk who is home with a surprise special covid.
PS – Please forgive any typos as they gave us all 8 beer tokens each and only two days to spend them, and I am feeling the effects at the moment… Cheers!
In honor of all the friends new and old, the song of the day is I Have Friends from the hit TV show Crazy Ex Girlfriend: