MagAO-C 2014B

  • MagAO 2014B Day 42: Coming Home/Party in the USA

    2014-12-08

    Katie Morzinski

    MagAO 2014B Day 42: Coming Home/Party in the USAWe’re home!!! And we had a good trip back: It was a good run. 37 nights on sky, good weather, good telescope, good AO, good crew, good astronomers… good data! Thanks to all who made this run a success. 42 days away from home is a long time. But from our pre-astronomer lives, Jared and ...
  • MagAO 2014B Day 41: Gone Away/Glad You Came

    2014-12-07

    Vizzy Viscacha

    MagAO 2014B Day 41: Gone Away/Glad You CameHello, it’s MagAO’s favorite mascot, Vizzy. Laird, Jared, and Katie left on Day 41. Here are some pictures from their last couple days at LCO this year. I miss them. I’m glad they came.
  • 2014B Day 41: Not really switched over

    2014-12-06

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 41: Not really switched overAccording to the blog, we were working the night shift for 36 nights (see Povilas, the blog can be useful). That means we’re almost completely nocturnal at this point, and not doing so well at this “awake during normal hours” thing. We have an overnight flight from Santiago to Dallas tomorrow night ...
  • 2014B Day 40: Switched back over

    2014-12-05

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 40: Switched back overYesterday was day 40 and we switched back over to a day schedule, but the blog server was down so here I am posting now. Thanks to the 4th-floor at CAAO for getting us running again! A few final pix from our last night on-sky — night 39: Day 40 was a short day for me. ...
  • 2014B Day 39: Last Night… Farewell AOistas

    2014-12-04

    Mauricio Martinez

    2014B Day 39: Last Night... Farewell AOistas“Ultima noche nadie se enoja”… Old Chilean saying, “on the last day (night) nobody gets mad”, so finally the last night for this run is here Katie and Jared can’t wait for it to be over, just a few minutes ago they both say “last target of the night !”… I know the feeling, so ...
  • 2014B Day 38: One More Night

    2014-12-03

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 38: One More NightWe only have 1 more night of observing left. Can you believe it? And after all that, the last two nights are mine and Katie’s to do with as we please. We have a nice informal queue worked out between us. It goes something like: seeing 0.5″ or better, we do ...
  • 2014B Day 37: “Engineering Issues”

    2014-12-02

    Gabriel Prieto

    2014B Day 37: "Engineering Issues"So it’s my time to write? Last night for me on the mountain, and to date the finest AO shift. The team is smoothing the instrument quite a lot, and on my call I’d say the biggest issue was helping Laird when he had “engineering issues” with the washing machine (the shame!). You guys still have a ...
  • 2014B Day 36: AO Team

    2014-12-01

    Alberto Pasten

    2014B Day 36: AO TeamFinally, after working for two years at Las Campanas, I could collaborate with the AO Team, which went as a rather smoothly work. Also the collaboration from Katie and Jared is amazing. They have been here for 36 days, and it appears just as if they had been a couple of weeks. What I’m trying ...
  • 2014B Day 35: Let It Go

    2014-11-30

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 35: Let It GoThis was our night: We were closed for the first 7 or so hours of the night. I got some software maintenance done, and at one point I went out into the dome to see what was going on. I found Laird and Katie with their heads inside the instrument. We finally got to open ...
  • 2014B Day 34: The return of the PI

    2014-11-29

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 34: The return of the PITonight… MagAO and the Return of the PI: We are happy to report that Laird arrived safely today. He ran the AO tonight, and gave Jared and I a break — it was nice to not have to worry about the loop! He made it all the way to sunrise. (Jared and I ...
  • 2014B Day 33: Thankful for all we get

    2014-11-28

    Graeme Salter

    2014B Day 33: Thankful for all we get  It’s been my first time observing at Magellan and I hope it isn’t my last! Everyone here at Las Campanas have been great, especially Katie and Jared, thank you guys for all of your help and company through the night shifts 🙂 This was possibly the closest to America that I’ve been for a Thanksgiving, I’m ...
  • 2014B Day 32: Happy Thanksgiving!

    2014-11-27

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 32: Happy Thanksgiving!This is my 3rd thanksgiving in 4 spent with MagAO somewhere other than home . 3 years ago I had “thanksgiving” in Florence with my Mom and Dad and Laird. 2 years ago we were here at LCO duing our first-light commissioning run. This ...
  • 2014B Day 31: Clio Smiled at Me

    2014-11-26

    Alycia Weinberger

    2014B Day 31: Clio Smiled at MeInfrared cameras are tricky beasts, forced by us ground-based astronomers to work while bathed in background photons impinging from every direction. Clio is also a bit on the complicated side, working as it does all the way out to 5 microns, with two camera scales (hence a movable camera lens), two filter wheels, and various other moving parts. During some ...
  • 2014B Day 30: Longer Night Shift of the year

    2014-11-25

    Hernán Núñez

    2014B Day 30: Longer Night Shift of the yearEnding last night, I left the telescope thinking of what to share on this blog, driving “home” (Nagoya Palace). A cute shot shaped the place where we stay half of our life. “Nagoya Palace” from the road.   Day 30 is not from a regular night shift, longer than my 12 days a long time ago. Even though, ...
  • 2014B Day 29: Vizzy Sighted

    2014-11-24

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 29: Vizzy SightedWe had another good night. Some thin/patchy/high clouds blew in after about 2 am, but we were on a bright star and really didn’t notice. It was “Empanada Sunday”, and we all had empanadas for our night lunches. The most exciting part of my day was getting to see Vizzy at the ...
  • 2014B Day 28: Variability for Good

    2014-11-23

    Alycia Weinberger

    2014B Day 28: Variability for GoodMy blog post for tonight was inspired by the coincidence of Katie searching the online astronomical database SIMBAD for a bright star near where I wanted to point on the sky and finding “AO Men.” No, Laird and Jared haven’t been honored with entries in SIMBAD. As I said, it was coincidence.   Variable stars, as they ...
  • 2014B Day 27: The air is a-glow

    2014-11-22

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 27: The air is a-glowTonight was great. Good AO loop, good weather, good science. Last night, though, the internet was down for a few hours in the middle of the night, so we weren’t able to investigate the airglow until tonight, which we saw last night as fringing on the all-sky cam. Yuri Beletsky, Magellan Instrument Support Scientist and ...
  • 2014B Day 26: Cloud Free Once More

    2014-11-21

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 26: Cloud Free Once MoreWe opened our blackout curtains to a cloud-free sky yesterday evening. And then we had a long relaxing night in 0.5″ +/- 0.1″ seeing. We feel much better about life this morning. After 26 days of continuous MagAO, we have a few corrections and clarifications to make: First of all, I did not change my ...
  • 2014B Day 25: The Clouds Came Back

    2014-11-20

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 25: The Clouds Came BackLong boring night tonight, sitting around waiting for clouds to clear. We started out ok, but after about 2 hours the clouds rolled in. We closed for several hours, and then opened but couldn’t get anything done with extinction jumping between 0 and more than 5 mags. The only other noteworthy event was that ...
  • 2014B Day 24: Observing ’til daybreak

    2014-11-19

    Kim Ward-Duong

    2014B Day 24: Observing 'til daybreakThe past few weeks have been full of exciting firsts* for me: first trip to South America, first real Spanish conversations, first taste of mote con huesillos, and especially exciting — first time observing at Magellan, and first time using MagAO! *Unfortunately, there’s not been a first sighting of the famed viscachas — or any other high desert ...
  • 2014B Day 23: Go MagAO Go!

    2014-11-18

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 23: Go MagAO Go!Well Kate, we don’t have a clever fix for you yet. But why be clever when hacking will do? The technical difficulties last night were from timeouts in the TCS communication (which mysteriously had never timed out until we tried taking data for Vanessa……). Jared implemented a workaround in which we timed ...
  • 2014B Day 22: On every run, a little rain must fall

    2014-11-17

    Kate Follette

    2014B Day 22: On every run, a little rain must fallMetaphorical rain in this case, not actual rain – don’t panic! I’m told there’s a blog post like this one on every run, though I’ve been lucky enough to avoid being here for them so far. Tonight, we had a few technical difficulties. For those of you in the know, this picture speaks volumes. In good news, ...
  • 2014B Day 21: A tale of two seeings

    2014-11-16

    Jordan Stone

    2014B Day 21: A tale of two seeingsI go back down the mountain and begin my journey home tomorrow. I had a successful night and a half with some pretty good seeing, and I’m quite pleased with my data. As Jared mentioned 2 posts ago, my observations required pushing Clio and the MagAO system to their limits. While we identified a few ...
  • 2014B Day 20: CliAO

    2014-11-15

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 20: CliAOClio is a good little camera. It has chip defects, cross-talk, and ghosts on bright stars, but what thermal-IR camera doesn’t? It also has a lot to offer and is very popular as seen by the telescope demand for MagAO/Clio. It has a deep enough well depth to take L-band images in ...
  • 2014B Day 19: Stop Breaking MagAO!

    2014-11-14

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 19: Stop Breaking MagAO!So the last two or three nights we’ve been using MagAO at its geometric limits. By that I mean the various angles and rotations and cable contortions that the exciting science targets required. There was a conversation like this last night (accuracy not 100%): Francois: “What’s the elevation limit?” Jared: “Thirty degrees.” Francois: “So I can ...
  • 2014B Day 18: A Spontaneous Promotion

    2014-11-13

    Kate Follette

    2014B Day 18: A Spontaneous PromotionTonight started rather auspiciously with the best green flash that I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, neither Jared nor I got a good picture, but here’s one I took during an  early commissioning run. Trust us – it was epic. During twilight, Jared and Povilas added gaffers tape to the guider CCD. In the end though, they decided ...
  • 2014B Day 17: Who Loves Us?

    2014-11-12

    Kate Follette

    2014B Day 17: Who Loves Us?My duty here on this run is to give Jared and Katie a bit of a break, which includes taking over some of the blogging. Tonight we started the night by swapping out the batteries in the wind monitor, which meant that we had to tilt the telescope over so that we could get to it. ...
  • 2014B Day 16: What Color Is Your Pyramid?

    2014-11-11

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 16: What Color Is Your Pyramid?We had an action packed night, with many more targets than we’ve been observing so far on this run. The AO system wasn’t on its best behaviour, but we have learned to recognize most of its bad moods quickly and we can usually slap it back into shape right away. Kate Follette is here, ready ...
  • 2014B Day 15: The Aoista Operation

    2014-11-10

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 15: The Aoista OperationOur T.O. for the last week, Jorge, has dubbed us “the aoista operation”. Tonight was pretty calm – no major technical problems, a few scientific discoveries, and a pretty relaxed night. The clouds rolled in a couple of hours before dawn, so we closed out with some minor engineering tasks. Tonight was TJ’s last ...
  • 2014B Day 14: Remote

    2014-11-09

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 14: RemoteThings went pretty well tonight. Alfio called us to check in and we could proudly show him that his software is keeping MagAO running smoothly: In fact, we are mostly keeping his chair empty for him: Except for when things need attention: Our friends over at Cerro Pachon are observing with GPI on the Gemini South telescope ...
  • 2014B Day 13: Settling In

    2014-11-08

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 13: Settling InIt’s day 13 – we’ve been here almost 2 weeks out of 6 now – so we’re almost a third of the way through. I think of it like running a 5k (3.1 miles) where the first mile is the phase where you try to get out ahead of the pack, and the second ...
  • 2014B Day 12: Who’s Driving This Thing?

    2014-11-07

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 12: Who's Driving This Thing?Now that we have 3.3V where we’re supposed to have 3.3V, and we’re using good fiber cables, everything is easy. It was also a nice night, with stable (if not always good) seeing. This is much more relaxing than some earlier nights. It also means there isn’t much to write about. These next ...
  • 2014B Day 11: Non così normale

    2014-11-06

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 11: Non così normaleThe other day we said we were back to normal… the clouds had gone away and we had a great night on-sky with a good AO correction, doing fun science. However, some not-so-normal problems cropped up again, and we just got through a bit of a stressful time. We were losing communication with ...
  • 2014B Day 10: Too small to be a star

    2014-11-05

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 10: Too small to be a starTonight was Laird’s last night for the first part of this run — he goes down later today to return home for a couple weeks, then he’ll be back again for the last couple weeks of the run. Jared and I will be taking care of everything while he’s gone. We were also ...
  • 2014B Day 9: Back To Normal

    2014-11-04

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 9: Back To NormalWell things finally got back to normal tonight at LCO. Not a cloud in the sky, seeing was 0.5 arcseconds most of the night, T.J. fell asleep in the control room, and most importantly – our good friend Miss Viz was hanging out at the clean room today! We haven’t seen any Viscachas ...
  • 2014B Day 8: Keep Calm

    2014-11-03

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 8: Keep CalmWe were clouded out for the first half of the night. Once we got open, we started out observing “Runa’s Star”. Runa picked his star as a set up target during our commissioning run 2 years ago. He also deserves credit for designing one side of our MagAO coffee mugs. Once the clouds ...
  • 2014B Day 7: Ok Cancel

    2014-11-02

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 7: Ok CancelOn a submarine they say you don’t really start learning how the reactor plant works until you stand your first watch by yourself. It’s kind of the same thing for us, this is our first run without Alfio here to clean up our messes. Tonight was fun. We pushed MagAO into ...
  • 2014B Day 6: Mackerel Trick or Treat?

    2014-11-01

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 6: Mackerel Trick or Treat?Tonight we saw some cute pictures of the various children in our lives dressed up for Halloween. Well don’t worry, but we had the holiday covered here as well. Here is a monster of an old man who showed up just before sunset: He looks scary but we let him run our instrument. ...
  • 2014B Day 5: Corrected Dispersion

    2014-10-31

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 5: Corrected DispersionThe big story over the last 30 hours has been our atmospheric dispersion corrector, or ADC. When you look at a star through the atmosphere, it will be “dispersed” into a rainbow, meaning that the different wavelengths of light (colors) will land at different spots on the camera. But if you have an ...
  • 2014B Day 4: Closed Loop

    2014-10-30

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 4: Closed LoopToday was a long night. Too long to report all the events. But, we installed the NAS and Clio, took off the ASM cover and put on the wind monitor, and closed the loop! Three students from the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa María, Javier Garcés, Sebastián Zúñiga, and Mario Castro, arrived today. They will be working with ...
  • 2014B Day 3: Switched On and Switching Over

    2014-10-29

    Jared Males

    2014B Day 3: Switched On and Switching OverThe big news for today is that Laird and Katie cabled, plumbed, and powered-up the ASM. We’ve never done that before without at least one Arcetrian in the room. It all went very smoothly, and the ASM is ready to go on sky! Our day started with Oscar introducing us to the Cherimoya. ...
  • 2014B Day 2: Clio is Alive

    2014-10-28

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 2: Clio is AliveThere was a cold wind blowing today but in the hottest/sunniest parts of the day it calmed down. During this time we moved the ASM from the clean room up to the Clay dome: It’s beautiful up here. Breakfast was amazing: fresh-squeezed orange juice, oatmeal with warm milk, dos huevos fritos por favor, and ...
  • 2014B Day 1: Isn’t this fun?!

    2014-10-27

    Katie Morzinski

    2014B Day 1: Isn't this fun?!MagAO fans… we have arrived! It’s nice to be back here at LCO in Chile, where all the coffee is strong, all the viscachas are good-looking, and all the food is above average. Jared, Laird, and I left Tucson on Saturday and arrived here on Sunday, for an uneventful trip. Believe it ...
  • 2014B: Hard Work

    2014-10-25

    Jared Males

    2014B: Hard WorkMagAO has produced another Ph.D.! Kate successfully defended her dissertation on Thursday, at the very un-Astronomer hour of 9 am. Nevertheless her talk was well attended, and all of that hard work paid off. Congratulations to Dr. Kate Follette, Queen of VisAO SDI. Now that the fun is over, Laird,Katie, and ...
  • Getting ready for MagAO 2014B — spare Clio solid nitrogen pump

    2014-09-12

    Katie Morzinski

    Getting ready for MagAO 2014B -- spare Clio solid nitrogen pumpWe’ve had a few meetings lately to prepare for our upcoming 2014B run in Oct–Dec. This will be our second regular science run, and our operations are becoming more smooth and efficient, so we are going to have a more streamlined personnel plan. It will also be our longest run yet (37 nights!). We ...
  • Sagan 2014: Imaging Planets and Disks

    2014-07-26

    Jared Males

    Sagan 2014: Imaging Planets and DisksThis past week the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExSCI) hosted the 2014 Sagan Summer Workshop, which was on Imaging Planets and Disks. Several members of the MagAO team and extended family attended, and presented some of our latest and greatest results. The workshop was held on the campus of Caltech, in Pasadena. We all ...