MagAO-X goes back to school

Tucson in the summer is a bit like this, only less exciting.

A tumbleweed crosses a barren desert scene in a repeating animation.

However, summer is waning. (Why, it’s only 99ºF at 7:00 p.m. as I’m writing this!) Tucson is filling back up with new and returning students, and I’m no longer guaranteed a table to myself at my favorite coffee shop.

This semester, we are happy to be welcoming two new graduate students to the group!

NSF Fellow Logan Pearce (whom you may remember from this special guest appearance) is joining us in the Department of Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. And Maggie Kautz, another NSF fellow (and recent graduate from The University of Arizona) will now be pursuing her Ph.D. in Optical Sciences here and continuing her work with the XWCL. She was in Baltimore all summer working on the HiCAT testbed at Space Telescope Science Institute. Welcome, Logan, and welcome back, Maggie!

Meanwhile, in the lab, we’re sitting in the dark and occasionally pointing at things.

Alex Hedglen, in full cleanroom getup, points to an image of the MagAO-X pupil on one of Jared's five screens full of MagAO-X control software.

The final integration of the software and hardware for MagAO-X continues at a breakneck pace, with the number of tasks remaining before first-light described as “countably infinite”. I’d elaborate, but there’s so much to be done! More to come soon.