MagAO-C 2019B Day 13: TUS home

MagAO-Classic has landed in TUS. This is the last MagAO-C 2019B post.

Here we are at the baggage claim in Tucson. We all made it and so did our bags! [Image description: Katie, Amali, Emily, and Laird are all smiling at the camera, we look happy to be reunited with Tucson and our luggage.]

And I am currently surrounded by cats, who are much better snugglers than vizcachas.

Spot the vizcacha.

Spot the vizcacha. [Image description a brown bunny-looking thing hidden on a brown hillside with some brown rocks and brown grasses and brown scraggly bushes in the reddish glow of sunset on my last night.]

On the day we left I checked that everything was safely stowed.

Clio and the NAS safely stored in the Aux. [Image description: A round black metal circle covers the NAS with its electronic boxes sticking out above like Mickey Mouse ears. Clio sits on its cart, with its electronics rack beside. Very important MagAO tools are also stored here.]

Amali said goodbye to her rock garden.

Amali with the rocks. [Image description: Amali is crouched down to put the finishing touches on an orderly arrangement of ~inch-sized rocks varying in color from black to orangey-red, next to the sidewalk by her room.]

We headed down the hill at 8:30am Chile time and got home to Tucson around 11am MST for a total of about 31 hours travel time.

Roadside shrine [Image description: A tiny house with a saint inside, and a cross and 2 Chilean flags outside. Along the road, with desert-y-looking brown/dry landscape and some hills in the background.]

The flowers were blooming at El Pino and the new dorms for our mid-day rest were really very lovely and extremely comfortable:

We saw Tyson in LSC and heard he had a nice stay at Hotel Enjoy. He was on the same SCL-DFW flight and was nice enough to get me into the club in SCL and Laird in DFW. It was nice seeing you Tyson, hope you made it home safely too!

Overall this was a good run, I think Emily did a great job learning MagAO and Amali did great working with her and refreshing her memory on the LBTI compare/contrast differences.

Jared, Amali, and Emily work to set up for the last night in the Clay control room. (Amali is there, you can find her.) [Image description: Clay control room, with walls of monitors, and AOistas sitting at desks and computers, working away.]
Jared giving Amali and Emily a tour of MagAO-X. [Image description: Everyone is wearing clean-room coats and hairnets; Jared is also wearing a face and beard mask. Jared is pointing at the back of the optics doll house while Amali and Emily look on.]
Good bye Clay and LCO, you did a great job! [Image description: The Izuzu that takes the ASM down the hill to the clean room is parked at the Clay telescope awaiting its cargo.]

The song of the day: Taylor Swift’s Perfect Fight Song by Andy Wu Musicland featuring Pink, Ellie Goulding, and Rachel Platten:

MagAO-C Day 12 – “Well that’s never happened before.”

If we got a Chilean peso for every time that phrase was used this run we could build a new ASM. From network ghosts and hardware bamboozle-ments to empty Chilean airports and Katie’s missing sandwich, we encountered a lot of new scenarios. The most troubling and only one unresolved – Katie’s missing sandwich. Last seen in the main kitchen around 2300 last night, could it be a sneaky vizzy or a stolen late night snack. The world may never know.

Our driver from LCO was ready at 830 am sharp. It was hard say goodbye to LCO and our MagAO-X comrades who stayed behind (Jared and Joesph), but we will soon be reunited in Tucson. Our drive down the mountain was complete with burros, goats and even an owl. Our driver pointed the little one out to us – it was totally un-phased by the van!

Security checkpoint.
A cute little hoot! Perched on a Las Campanas Observatory sign. Photo by Laird Close.

First we headed to El Pino, the LCO La Serena offices. In town we encountered traffic lights and signs that were missing, presumably due to the riots and protests. Graffiti, broken windows, and destroyed gas stations were seen throughout the city, but we did not encounter any issues. In fact driving without operational traffic lights was rather calm. We were each given a room to get a nap and a shower before headed to La Serena airport for LAN 303 at 1541. By tradition, after checking our bags we waited for our plane with some salty papas fritas in the restaurant upstairs, after two weeks of healthy meals we were craving some junk food. Most of us had leftover night (day?!) lunches in our backpacks as well.

Salty goodness
Here’s Katie and Laird enjoying a pre-flight meal. Amali and I mooched off the fries.

Security and the famed PDI slip exchange went smoothly at both La Serena and Santiago, where we are currently waiting for our all nighter flight to DFW to board. Here’s Amali boarding at the hardstand for our La Serena to Santiago flight.

The best jetways.
Amali boarding the Latam 303 flight. Our random seat assignments placed Amali up front and Laird, Katie, and I all clustered in the back.

It’s almost time to board our 787, I’ll miss Chile and LCO, in just one visit I feel I’ve found a new home.

Keeping with the classic rule and the “that’s never happened before” theme here’s: Foreigner – Feels Like The First Time.

MagAO-C Day 11: Clay to clean room

Last night went great. Now today MagAO-Classic has been removed from Clay to the Aux and the clean room. Night schedules are switching to day schedules. It was a 3-viscacha day at the clean room and many NSF proposals have been worked on, and SPIE abstracts have been drafted and submitted to the extend possible.

Sunset called for some frisbee. [Image description: In the pink glow of sunset, a pink PI throws a flying disk towards the photographer. The Baade dome is basked in a warm sunsetting glow, and the mountains are shown in high relief]
Vizzy and a local bird at sunset, one basking up the sun, one sheltering in shadow. [Image description: A vizcacha in the light, a bird in a shadow, sitting on some rocks and masonry structure.]
Here’s a fox from last week. No reason. [Image description: A fox on the road by the dining hall.]

Now it’s time for more proposaling and some packing too, so I leave you with the MagAO-Classic song of the day: Ylvis – The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)

MagAO-C 2019B Day 10: Last Closed Loop

Tonight was our last night on-sky with MagAO-Classic in 2019B. It was my telescope night, and Amali ran AO after Emily went to bed around midnight. Tomorrow’s the big day for removing MagAO-C from the telescope, so we always do these staggered bedtimes. It’s nice to have Amali and Emily here to help with removal.

Emily, Amali, Jared, and Katie enjoying the last catwalk sunset of MagAO-C 2019B. [Image description: 4 AOistas smile in the soft light of sunset.]

Alberto stayed an extra night with the rest of his turno, so this is the first time we’ve had him as our TO for the entire run. Thanks Alberto, you are a superlative telescope operator! Here are Alberto, Amali, and myself enjoying a quiet night of photon-gathering.

Katie, Alberto, and Amali in the Clay control room. [Image description: A Clio/VisAO operator, a telescope operator, and an AO operator sit in chairs and examine electronic screens, in a control room filled with screens.]
It was a 2-vizcacha day at the clean room this afternoon! Here is a close-up of Vizzy 1 in a cute pose. [Image description: A vizcacha sits up on its hindquarters, on a rafter beam, with its fuzzy tail hanging down. Its ears are back and its paws are held out in front of it.]

The song of the day is Gangnam Style by Psy:

MagAO-C 2019B Day 9: Amali wins the blog (again)

Amali’s blog post about the saga of the Alpaca was another creative expository piece that tonight we had a ceremony to award her the 2019B MagAO-C blog award:

Jared gives the citation and Amali graciously accepts the award [Image description: Amali and Jared stand on the Clay catwalk with the setting sun behind them. Amali is holding a metal item.]
Here is the blog award close-up. [Image description: The metal item turns out to be a failed hard drive from the adsec supervisor computer, the very computer that Alpaca was impersonating in IP address. Writing on the harddrive in black sharpie in Jared’s handwriting says “adsecsup / Failed, replaced / 11/15/15”. The harddrive has been decorated with the 2019B Mission Patch sticker, and labeled “MagAO 2019B Blog Award / Awarded to Amali Vaz / 2019/11/11 [not shown]”.]

Tomorrow there will be a general strike throughout much of Chile. The turno (shift changeover) that was supposed to happen will be postponed until Wednesday. That means those who hoped to go home tomorrow must stay 1 more day. We wish our colleagues all the best — they are all extremely professional and we truly appreciate working with them here.

The MagAO-C and MagAO-X teams and observer: Emily, Katie, Laird, Kyle, Jared, Amali, Joseph, Alex (v. 2.0), and Blake. [Image description: A group of AOistas stand on the Clay catwalk in front of the setting sun]. Photo by Alberto Pasten.
Blake didn’t get to do his targets to the North because of the wind. Also, the seeing got pretty non-LCO-ish at the end of the night, with a couple spikes above 1.5”. [Image description: Screen grab of the LCO weather plot showing seeing, temperature, wind, and pressure vs. time.]
Moon set at dawn. [Image description: Foreground: A ridge with telescopes. Background: Purple mountains majesty. Sky: Band of Venus, orange of dawn, and Full moon setting.]

The song of the day is Michael Franti & Spearhead – Say Hey I Love You — a classic from MagAO 2015B: