MagAO won’t be back on the telescope for a year. That’s a long time. In the mean time, we have some amazing data to analyze, and we have some upgrades planned (which is why there’s such a long break). We’ll keep you posted as new results come out and our schedule progresses. ...
Today Laird, Jared, and I packed everything up in preparation for departing… and possibly not coming back for almost a year.
Jared was in charge of backing up all of our computers and archiving the VisAO data. We have 5 computers on the mountain: The WFS supervisor, the ASM supervisor, the VisAO supervisor, the VisAO ...
Today we said goodbye to Alfio, Runa, Kate, and Alycia.
Then we removed the ASM, Clio, and the Nas from the telescope. It went well.
Exhausted though we may be, we will miss this place after we’re gone.
On our last night (last night) we had a spike of seeing up to 2” that gave our AO system a run for our money:
Well, today we are taking everything off the telescope, it’s been a good run!
“But anyone could go in there and delete it!” – Laird, about doing the AO user’s manual on ...
If you paid close (as the PI) attention to this blog, you probably understood that in AO you have to close (as the PI) the loop (as the PI did). The loop is a close (…) interaction between a sensor, that reads something, and an object that does something in reaction. Here, the “thing” is ...
We were clouded out tonight:
Also, a truck on the highway had an accident, which closed the highway, so the new turno couldn’t get here so the day crew had to also be the TO’s at night. We’ve been away from home for ~3 weeks and everyone is tired, but we stayed up all night in ...
We are pleased to announce that our very own Jared Males (VisAO instrument scientist and software engineer) has been awarded a 3-year NASA Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowship by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute to bring his PhD work to the next level.
During Jared’s fellowship, he will design and implement sophisticated techniques for imaging exoplanets in the ...
Alycia says I’m spoiled. Fine. But when you’re used to half arcsecond seeing, one arcsecond seeing is a “disaster” (Alfio’s word, not mine).
We did do some good science tonight. The AO system is running fantastically well now that we replaced the troublesome switch BCU, and our two cameras are catching all sorts ...
Tonight we had great seeing and also fixed a hardware problem, allowing us to practice operating the AO system, VisAO, and Clio under ideal conditions. In fact, Laird ran the AO system, under Alfio’s careful tutelage, and the loop never spontaneously opened the whole night! This is thanks to Runa who replaced the ...
I get to give an outsider’s perspective on the AO system as a guest blogger
tonight. It’s incredibly exciting to be here and see the AO working.
As best I can tell, the team was not intentionally showing off when just after
sunset, Alfio flattened the secondary, Gabriel our TO brought up the primary
mirror, TJ aligned CLIO’s masks ...
Tonight both Clay and Baade belonged to astronomers from Steward Observatory. Bear down.
Over on the diffraction limited side, we had a great night. We observed some young low-mass companions to stars (later we can argue about labels like “brown dwarf” and “planet” – all I know for sure is that they were all ...
Today we saw snowflakes here at Magellan! Thankfully, the weather was beautiful without a cloud in the sky; the snowflakes were on Clio.
This is an image of a star. Although it looks distorted, this image is actually great. If our AO system is performing well, the image shape (the technical term is “point spread function”) ...
This is my second post ever. I guess that makes me no longer a rookie…
Tonight went pretty smoothly. Most of the night was spent doing science observations of faint companions. Because we have two science cameras, we were able to obtain some pretty cool images on both cameras–simultaneously!
The AO continued to perform very well, aside ...
Tonight I saved over 73000 images on one target. That wore me out.
We had a good night – seeing was fairly good all night and we did some good engineering work in the first half. Clio’s prism spectrograph was aligned and focused, and we did some more photometric standard measurements with VisAO. ...
We started off the night trying to track down the mysterious source of a perfectly symmetrical spider (literally a spider!) that kept popping up in the Clio viewer (see Jared’s post from earlier today for more details). Luckily, Povilas was working on the pointing model at the time, so we were able to indulge in ...
Just before starting our science observations tonight, we discovered a major bug in the Clio software.
Well played, Professor Hinz. Well played.
“That looks like a spider.” — TJ
“You can see the bad pixels through the spider.” — Laird
“This is the most in-focus image I’ve seen on Clio.” — Alfio
The fun continued… the culprits are ...
On November 26th, 2012, we closed the loop for the first time on-sky here at Magellan. A multitude of cameras and video recorders were there to document the moment. Here we present a three-dimensional tomographic reconstruction of the first-light Magellan adaptive optics controllers.
We input these images into our FPGA reconstructor, to obtain the ...
Tonight was our second night on-sky this run, and we have been accomplishing many engineering tasks. With the AO system, we have been testing and optimizing our AO parameters. Here is a PSF from yesterday, with only ~100 nm phase rms WFE:
With VisAO, we are calibrating our photometric system. With Clio, we ...
Under certain conditions, such as high winds or observing faint stars, it is advantageous to use the shortest exposure times (~20 msec) of the VisAO camera and perform Lucky imaging. This technique is based on first selecting only the best images in a sequence of short exposures, and then shifting-and-adding (SAA) the results. ...
Tonight we closed the loop on-sky, on Kate and T.J.’s first night here this run.
We were able to use the new pupils we calibrated over the last few days, and Marco’s new interaction matrix, to close the AO loop with 378 modes. This was a big step forward! The wavefront error was close to ...
You might have noticed that our server redirected you to https. This will help ensure that MagAO continues to be a source of good, clean, family-friendly fun. Thanks to Paul Hart for helping Jared get a certificate set up.
Thanks to our loyal readers, Jared has found a new source of funding for Arizona’s various AO ...
Well the Wildcats lost to the Buckeyes this evening, but take heart, Arizona, things are looking up for us MagAO’ers down here.
The main highlight of today is that the AO system is running closed loop on 0.8″ simulated seeing at 1 KHz sample speeds (where we were at the end of Comm 1). We have ...
Today is Alfio’s birthday.
As you can see in the above picture, we have a new minimum-force basis set to try (thanks Fernando!). As soon as we get everything lined up, we’ll test it on the CRO.
Speaking of the CRO, yesterday was crazy. So crazy that none of us had much energy ...
Today we installed the NAS (the metal ring that mounts to the telescope and holds all our instruments) and the CRO (the calibration return optic, for internal alignment and calibration). We also said goodbye to Tyson — thanks for everything! It was a long day and I’m tired so this will have to be quick, ...
Today we said goodbye to Alan. Thanks for all your help getting us up and running!
Even with Alan departing, the mountain is full to the brim with personnel, and we need all the space we can muster for the President of Carnegie’s visit later this week.
Today the crew installed the ASM. First they had to ...
Today was the first full day for our expanded team. After a long 2 days of travel, we got a lot of good sleeping and working accomplished. Oh, and Laird’s suitcase arrived — it’s nice to have toiletries!
Today Marco and Alfio checked that the ASM cabinet powered up and that the system looked ...
The MagAO team got a lot bigger today. Laird, Katie, Alfio, Marco, and Vanessa arrived at LCO today. Marco took some pictures after they all met up in Santiago.
Katie sat in the front of the bus, so she took some pictures of the drive.
No rest for the weary. After dinner we charged ...
Congratulations to the Harvard NCAA men’s basketball team, who today upset #3 New Mexico (as the #14 seed – wow!). This makes things in the Aux building at LCO a little interesting:
#6 Arizona and #14 Harvard square off tomorrow afternoon. Bear Down!
The Clay primary mirror got a bath this morning:
Here is the rinse ...
Today was somewhat eventful. There was some more guider housekeeping, and some work on VisAO software, and a few other odds and ends. We also saw a rare member of the LCO zoo today at lunch.
A family of Guanacos came by the aux building today. There were a couple of little ones trotting ...
The Clay telescope’s 6.5m primary mirror is getting a bath tomorrow. So today it was lowered out of the telescope, and moved into the aux. building. Not something you see everyday.
Alan and Tyson did some guider housekeeping today, covering up some pesky LEDs. I turned the W-Unit on and made sure everything ...
The “advance team” arrived at LCO today to begin preparations for MagAO commissioning run #2. Alan, Tyson, and Jared made the long overnight journey from the USA, accompanied by Povilas and Mark Phillips who were returning from the Magellan SAC meeting.
After a delicious LCO supper I went up and looked everything over. ...