XWCL among the aliens

MagAO-X and the eXtreme Wavefront Control Lab are affiliated with the Alien Earths project, an interdisciplinary collaboration led by Dániel Apai. I was going to list off the disciplines that they are inter-ing, but they said it best on their website:

Our Alien Earths team includes experts in planet formation, exoplanet detection and characterization, planet formation, planetary atmospheres, astro- and cosmochemistry, meteorite and asteroid sample analysis, planetary interiors and atmospheres, and mathematical biology and ecology.

This week, they are holding their all-hands meeting in Tucson.

We are contributing a whopping five talks to the program, giving us a chance to not only overwhelm them with our direct-imaging jargon, but also keep it up over multiple days.

As a prelude of the coming flood, Logan Pearce gave our science and instrument status update early in the Wednesday program.

“Après moi le déluge” — Logan, probably

She also took the opportunity to advertise the MagAO-X Sirius-Like Systems Search (final logo pending):

After lunch, Sebastiaan Haffert gave an update on direct imaging plans with the upcoming Giant Magellan Telescope and the planned GMagAO-X instrument our group is developing.

Lest you think we gave every talk at this meeting, rest assured that there were other people on the schedule. (Organizer Dr. Kevin Wagner thankfully spaced us out so we wouldn’t overwhelm people.)

However, this is the Extreme Wavefront Control Lab blog, and we don’t claim to present the proceedings of the meeting here. On to the next! Avalon McLeod showed videos with enough of our instrument interfaces to terrify our theorist colleagues.

Black blazers are de rigueur.

Our last talk of today was Eden McEwen speaking about achieving mastery over the concept of TIME.


Dr. Sebastiaan Haffert closed out the session by giving us all permission to go, provided we return for free breakfast tomorrow.

Okay, Sebastiaan, if you really insist.

Song of the Day

“Diamonds on Neptune” by Old 97s

But who’s got time for heavenly things?