MagAO-C 2015A

  • 2015A: MagAO visits LBTI

    2015-07-02

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A: MagAO visits LBTI(This blog is a cross-post from the LBTI blog.) What did you do with your leap second? Tonight we stared at thick monsoon-y clouds for an extra second. And then (many hours later) we went to bed. Here’s the almost-full moon rising at sunset. There was also going to be a spectacular conjunction of Jupiter and Venus, but ...
  • 2015A Day 44: On Our Way

    2015-06-10

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 44: On Our WayThe MagAO team have left the mountain, and we’re on our way home to Tucson. We don’t have much internet right now — you’ll have to live without more pictures and a song of the day until we’re back in range. Post-recovery edit: Goodbye LCO. Hello World! Last chance for the 2015A song of the day and it ...
  • 2015A Day 43: Around The Bend

    2015-06-09

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 43: Around The BendWell the system is back in storage, and we’re good and ready to get out of here. We couldn’t go even one last day without troubleshooting something. We did a bunch of testing on our recalcitrant “X stage” motor, including spending some time on the phone with an engineer at Copley Controls. It looks ...
  • 2015A Day 42: What’s Up and Down

    2015-06-08

    Vizzy Viscacha

    2015A Day 42: What's Up and DownToday I saw: Laird going down. Jared going down. The sun coming up. Laird coming up. Kim and Katie going down. The ASM coming down. Jared coming up. Clio coming down. The NAS coming down. Laird going down. Jared going down. Jorge, Povilas, and ...
  • 2015A Day 41: Last MagAO Science Night of 2015A!

    2015-06-08

    Kim Ward-Duong

    2015A Day 41: Last MagAO Science Night of 2015A!Well, the last FITS data files of 2015A have been read out, and MagAO is in the process of being tucked away for a cozy rest until 2015B. I had the last night of the entire run, and just like back in November, we observed well into morning twilight — no photon left uncollected! I’m ...
  • 2015A Day 40: This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)

    2015-06-06

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 40: This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)Home is where I want to be… Guess we must be having fun… Feet on the ground, head in the sky… Cover up and say goodnight… Hiyo… I got plenty of time… I guess that this must be the place… And the run is almost over… I think we’re going to ...
  • 2015A Day 39: Don’t you have anything 8th magnitude or brighter?

    2015-06-05

    Jordan Stone

    2015A Day 39: Don't you have anything 8th magnitude or brighter?Imagine you’ve got an invisible treasure in a shopping cart with two broken wheels. You’re blindfolded, and you can only keep the treasure if you can push the broken cart to an exact location on a giant noodle flopping in the wind. That’s MagAO/Clio spectroscopy. Since I want to take spectra of “faint” companions to nearby ...
  • 2015A Day 38: Get Lucky

    2015-06-04

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 38: Get LuckySo you may have heard that we have had lots of things to fix on this run. From the very beginning there was an issue with one of the motor shafts in Clio: you might remember that Clio wasn’t ready on our first night. Everybody but Jordan Stone would have been fine without ...
  • 2015A Day 37: Inside the solar system

    2015-06-02

    Amanda Bosh

    2015A Day 37:  Inside the solar systemThis is the final night of my 7-night run at the Clay on MagAO, sharing nights with Alycia & TJ.  I have a few hours per night to image Pluto and Charon with Clio and VisAO, to get their separate photometric light curves in many filters over their 6.4-day period. We’re also doing some astrometry ...
  • 2015A Day 36: Astronomy or Astrology?

    2015-06-02

    Vizzy Viscacha

    2015A Day 36: Astronomy or Astrology?Once I was at an hotel in Santiago and I was trying to check my email from Tololo, where I was working at that time, and suddenly a lady from the cleaning staff saw the Tololo web page and asked me what was that … “It’s CTIO web page the place where I work” She looked ...
  • 2015A Day 35: Light Time

    2015-06-01

    Alycia Weinberger

    2015A Day 35: Light TimeMy family knows that if they want to plan something for me months in advance of when the next semester’s telescope schedule is released, they should consult a Moon phase calendar and choose a time near New Moon. You, dear readers, undoubtedly know that astronomy and not astrology dictated my schedule — infrared astronomers are ...
  • 2015A Day 34: Still Alive

    2015-05-31

    Gabriel Prieto

    34 days and counting. My own record is 23 nights, all alone by myself at SMARTS 0.9. So I can relate to the AO Team: you do start seeing life down the hill as a dream. And I can say that this run has been a somewhat dark for the team: it can be either wind, ...
  • 2015A Day 33: Don’t Panic

    2015-05-30

    Alycia Weinberger

    2015A Day 33: Don't PanicFor the third day in a row, the internet connection is spotty to nonexistent. I was thinking  about the early 90s, when I was a graduate student, and my advisor, Gerry Neugebauer, was the director of Palomar Observatory. He wasn’t keen on getting internet to the dome because, as I recall, he thought astronomers would ...
  • 2015A Day 32: Ain’t no sunshine

    2015-05-29

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 32: Ain't no sunshineSome light clouds at sunset, but low winds. Looking good (for 2015A) for Amanda and Atom from MIT, to look at various Solar System bodies that tend to be right into the wind: The internet went down but we can run everything internally just fine, so it just meant no Facebooking or emailing our families, ...
  • 2015A Day 31: All by myself no more

    2015-05-28

    TJ Rodigas

    2015A Day 31: All by myself no moreHello everyone, this is the last night of my run, so it seemed appropriate to do the blog tonight. I’ve been here for the past 6 nights. As you might have noticed, the weather (clouds, wind) has not been favorable during this time. Nonetheless, we managed to get about 2+ nights of good data. I can’t ...
  • 2015A Day 30: Dr.* Vanessa P. Bailey

    2015-05-27

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 30: Dr.* Vanessa P. BaileyWe got to open for a few hours tonight, when the winds were only 30 mph: : Winds eventually came back down, and we got another 4 or 5 hours of science done. Hurray! So instead of talking about the wind, let’s talk about our latest PhD*: Vanessa Bailey, first discover-er ...
  • 2015A Day 29: NOW It’s Windy

    2015-05-26

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 29: NOW It's Windy“Maria makes the mountains sound like folks were up there dyin'” We’ve already used up some of the best wind songs, and we’re just getting started. I saw at least one gust of 64 mph on our wind gage up here at Clay. The LCO weather page doesn’t go that high: Down at the 100″ ...
  • 2015A Day 28: Clio Field Stop/Start

    2015-05-25

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 28: Clio Field Stop/StartOK, I’ve had enough winter. Look at all these clouds! And the winds, and still the clouds! So we didn’t even open tonight, at all, ever. Well, at least that meant it was a good time to fix Clio. So I’ve been aligning the camera by hand lately, but not anymore! Here was us last week… Pato ...
  • 2105A Day 27: The Wind Is Back

    2015-05-24

    Jared Males

    2105A Day 27: The Wind Is BackIt was clear tonight, which was nice after last night. But seeing was pretty bad (for LCO), and the winds kicked up again. We’ve had a few days respite from these winter gusts coming from the NE, but now we are again huddling with our back to them, pointing to the SW. This seems ...
  • 2015A Day 26: A quiet night there are no disturbances

    2015-05-23

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 26: A quiet night there are no disturbancesToday was T.J.’s first night, which means the start of good solid breaks for Jared and me. It was pretty cloudy which made for a quiet night with no disturbances: Since it was my first break in a long time, my brain was mainly up for a lot of youtubing of Namibian folk songs. ...
  • 2015A Day 25: Rolling on the river

    2015-05-22

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 25: Rolling on the riverTonight went smoothly… for 2015A. We were doing some of the MagAO Key Project which are the types of observations the system is optimized for, including pointing mostly South out of the wind, and taking deep high-contrast imaging data. Still a bit of weather… but overall quite a calm smooth night in the ...
  • 2015A Day 24: What Do You Call The Wind?

    2015-05-21

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 24: What Do You Call The Wind?The wind was blowing and the stars were twinkling hard tonight. We still got some science done, but it was less fun than we’re used to. Also, we only planned some troubleshooting — we didn’t actually do any tonight. Here’s an action shot of the instrument scientist aligning Clio at sunset. This ...
  • 2015A Day 23: Screensaver

    2015-05-20

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 23: ScreensaverTonight was a good night: so good that we got to the screensaver on the AO control workstation. That means we went long periods of time without having to adjust anything. Speaking of screensavers, what is going on here? Passed the Burros on my way up tonight. We’re starting to obsess over sleep.
  • 2015A Day 22: Vizzies without you

    2015-05-19

    Vizzy Viscacha

    2015A Day 22: Vizzies without youI’m helping my friend Alberto write the post tonight. Another smooth week with the Aoistas Katie and Jared … don’t forget the formula 3 > 1 > 1 A bit of humour …
  • 2015A Day 21: Insusceptible to Shame

    2015-05-18

    Kate Follette

    2015A Day 21: Insusceptible to ShameIf you read carefully between the lines of yesterday’s blog post (which were mostly complaints about me trying to do science – hmph!), you may have noticed that we didn’t say anything about using Clio. Because we didn’t. At all. All night long. We didn’t want to panic any of our upcoming observers, but Clio was ...
  • 2015A Day 20: Into The Wind

    2015-05-17

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 20: Into The WindYou’re never going to believe this, but our night started out with troubleshooting. More about the details later, but for now I’ll just note that we have a sign in the control room saying “MagAO has not troubleshot anything for X hrs”. Yeah hours, not days. But the big story tonight is wind. ...
  • 2015A Day 19: I’m A Sucker for Sucker Troughs

    2015-05-16

    Kate Follette

    2015A Day 19: I'm A Sucker for Sucker TroughsWith much regret, I begin my first blog post of my last run as a Magellan observer.  I’m taking a brief hiatus from my new role as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford (working on the very exciting Gemini Planet Imager) to rejoin the MagAO team this week. My goal for these three days is to complete second ...
  • 2015A Day 18: How Come It Never Goes Smooth?

    2015-05-15

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 18: How Come It Never Goes Smooth?Mal Reynolds about sums it up: Here we go. So to kick things off, we got a good shake from a nearby 5.1 magnitude earthquake. For perspective, it was big enough that it woke me up rattling things in my room, but it didn’t wake Katie up right next door. That would probably take at ...
  • 2015A Day 17: Only Girl in the World

    2015-05-14

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 17: Only Girl in the WorldRemember Jared’s Trouble post from a few days ago? He offered a free MagAO sticker to the first person to email what was wrong with Fig. 1. We got a few submissions that noticed the repaired fiber cable — actually that was from a couple years ago — read Marco’s hilarious post about ...
  • 2015A Day 16 Part II: Visited by Aliens

    2015-05-13

    Ben Montet

    2015A Day 16 Part II: Visited by AliensThis is the end of our three-night run with MagAO. We’ve seen a little bit of everything this trip: our first night featured high winds, while the second night contained several hours of thick clouds. These things aren’t unexpected in Chile in late autumn, but what is unexpected is to be visited by aliens during an ...
  • 2015A Day 16 Part I: the ‘Milk’ in the Milky Way

    2015-05-13

    Yutong Shan

    I crossed the equator for the first time 3 days ago. In the Caribbean we were greeted by a magnificent light show in the distance — fireworks stochastically set off in a dense mass of ominous clouds. But by sunrise we have arrived in more congenial territory, mountainous country with a jagged horizon as far ...
  • 2015A Day 15: Huevos con aceite

    2015-05-12

    Mauricio Martinez

    MagAO run all by myself, smooth and enjoyable week, despite the clouds the high winds and one (that could have been not so small) problem. After 7 nights I’m ready to go home…  I gave some serious thought about a song that would express exactly how that feels, after a short search I found the perfect ...
  • 2015A Day 14: Trouble

    2015-05-11

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 14: TroubleSo Francois Menard finally left, and everything got better. We had our first clear, calm, good-seeing night of the run. That being said, we had a communications problem with the ASM last night that probably can’t be blamed on the weather. As always happens, such events happen after midnight on Saturday ...
  • 2015A Day 13: Happy Mother’s Day!

    2015-05-10

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 13: Happy Mother's Day!To the Various Mothers! So here are some pictures for our various mothers: There was a big rain storm in northern Chile in March. The grass is green and growing on this typically brown mountain. Here are Yuri Beletsky’s beautiful photos: And my photo: Quotes from last week: Asking the observer on Baade about her night: “How was your ...
  • 2015A Day 12: Laird Misses Us

    2015-05-09

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 12: Laird Misses UsThis is the 300th blog post. ~40 posts per run adds up quick. The word of the day is wasabi. They served sushi tonight, which was great, but for some reason several people (all of whom should have known better) thought the thick green paste was just a harmless spread and applied it accordingly. ...
  • 2015A Day 11: Pretty Hurts

    2015-05-08

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 11: Pretty HurtsThe word of the day is windy. Tonight was so windy we could barely open. From the night report by TO Mauricio Martinez: 3.- 23:40 UT High winds for MagAO, Closed. /MMa 4.- 01:56 UT Opened. /MMa 5.- 02:18 UT High winds for MagAO, Closed. /MMa 6.- 03:59 UT Opened, SH Conemode enabled, with better sky condition, ...
  • 2015A Day 10: (No) rest for the wicked

    2015-05-07

    Gilles Otten

    2015A Day 10: (No) rest for the wickedGilles reporting in for the daily MagAO blog. Word of the day is “sleepy”. After being blasted by winds in the previous nights, this night was surprisingly calm (*COUGH*andcloudy*COUGH*). This gave the team the opportunity to relax a bit and work on some maintenance and documentation that needed to be done. Jared, Katie & Laird are slowly recovering ...
  • 2015A Day 9: Coronagraphs for fun and profit

    2015-05-06

    Matt Kenworthy

    tap tap tap tap …hello, hello……is this thing switched on? Great! Here we go… This is Matt Kenworthy, and I’ve been let loose given the reins of the MagAO blog for the night. The word of the night is “plate”, and apparently I’ve been saying “holy guacamole!” a lot. My graduate student, Gilles Otten, and I are here for ...
  • 2015A Day 8: Flabbergasted…

    2015-05-05

    Gabriel Prieto

    2015A Day 8: Flabbergasted...On this, my (hopefully, fingers crossed) last full night as TO I have the honor to do the daily log entry. Plenty of rules to adhere to, thought (can I suggest next time we only use live performances, performed on site? We could do a gregorian chant on the domes, that would be pretty cool). Can’t ...
  • Eyepiece Observing With MagAO

    2015-05-04

    Jared Males

    Eyepiece Observing With MagAOWelcome APOD and Sky and Telescope readers. This post was written while MagAO was mounted on the Clay 6.5 m telescope, and we post daily updates throughout the run on the main page. You can also find out about some of our scientific results using the In The News and Results pages. You can ...
  • 2015A Day 7: All Up And Running

    2015-05-04

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 7: All Up And RunningThis will again be a short and sweet post. For those of you familiar with how the MagAO blog really works, I just want to say that this is not a cover for some major problem that we don’t want to talk about. We’re all just exhausted after the last week of getting ...
  • 2015A Day 6: Closed Loop

    2015-05-03

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 6: Closed LoopWe made it to a closed loop tonight. First we had to deal with a bad cable for the guider, and a failed hard drive in VisAO. I’m too tired to really say much about it. Here are some pictures.
  • 2015A Day 5: This Close . . .

    2015-05-02

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 5: This Close . . .We got this close: We wanted to at least be testing the guider tonight, even if not closed-loop AO. But alas, we didn’t quite make it. The last thing we didn’t quite get accomplished was bolting the NAS to the telescope. It’s ready to go though, and we’ll be operating at the diffraction ...
  • 2015A Day 4: Almost our turn on Clay

    2015-05-01

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 4: Almost our turn on ClayLaird and I buttoned up Clio and Gabriel and I started pumping it down. Jared finished tuning the new X motor and installed it: And Laird and Jared are testing the motors in the NAS: Johanna Teske is observing on Clay/MIKE tonight — see her blog post at Las Campanas Belles. It’s our turn, starting tomorrow night. Quote ...
  • 2015A Day 3: Boom Clap Clio

    2015-04-30

    Katie Morzinski

    2015A Day 3: Boom Clap ClioAh Las Campanas The Bells. And here are the Belles of Las Campanas: Our friends Jackie Faherty and Johanna Teske are observing on Clay tonight. We got to give them some various tours and they documented it on Twitter — follow the links of their names for their MagAO Tweets! Jared showed us the secondary ...
  • 2015A Day 2: Long Stressful Day

    2015-04-29

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 2: Long Stressful DayToday was a challenge on two fronts. Katie and Laird spent the day performing surgery on our beloved Clio camera. They’re doing some housekeeping and getting ready to install our new coronagraphs and Brackett gamma filter. It’s always fun to open a dewar and take apart a bunch of filter wheels. ...
  • 2015A Day 1: You Can Call Me Larry

    2015-04-28

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 1: You Can Call Me LarryHome at last. After our 24 hr delay in Tucson, and listening to all the horror stories from people who had been trying to get to Santiago for several days, as soon as our plane pushed back the pilot cut the engines and we sat on the runway for an hour to let a ...
  • 2015A Day 0: On The Road Again

    2015-04-27

    Jared Males

    2015A Day 0: On The Road AgainWell, we at least made it to Dallas. We’ve been talking to other people here also trying to get to Santiago. Apparently flights have been routinely canceled over the last few days due to volcanic ash. I thought we were far enough north that it isn’t a issue, but guess not. ...
  • 2015A Day -1: Here We Go Again

    2015-04-26

    Jared Males

    Nowhere fast — that’s how you might describe the MagAO run so far. This post should have been “Day 0” (our traditional day before Laird arrives at LCO), but as you can see we’re moving backwards. Laird, Katie and Jared tried to leave Tucson today, but, well, they just decided to close the ...
  • Get Ready: 2015A Is Upon Us

    2015-04-22

    Jared Males

    Get Ready: 2015A Is Upon UsThe MagAO team is in the final stages of preparations for 2015A — Laird, Katie, and Jared depart for Chile this coming Saturday. We’re going down early to do some work on Clio and replace a motor. By the time we come home, nearly 7 weeks will have passed. Our preparations have included laying in a ...