2014B Day 14: Remote

Baade (left) and Clay (right) at sunset.

Things went pretty well tonight. Alfio called us to check in and we could proudly show him that his software is keeping MagAO running smoothly:

Alfio calls in from Firenze to check on our progress.

In fact, we are mostly keeping his chair empty for him:

Also, Alfio is here in spirit, running the AO system — his software has been working so well, we just leave this chair empty and let Alfio’s code run the show.

Except for when things need attention:

Jared, T.J., and Jorge running AO, Clio, and the telescope

Our friends over at Cerro Pachon are observing with GPI on the Gemini South telescope for the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES):

Chilean telescopes tonight: MagAO and GPI

I was Skype-chatting with them a bit tonight:

Here I am chatting with GPIES

We talked about astrometric calibrator fields, such as the Trapezium:

Jared shows us how it’s done

At the end of the night, seeing spiked up to 2” and we couldn’t keep a lock on our faint science target — it was the equivalent of clouds rolling in, we lost so much light.

At the end of the night, the seeing spiked up to 2”, making the WFS think clouds had rolled in.

So we tried an experimental target instead. Here is a quick snapshot of HD 269433 (all we could get before the loop opened again, as the Sun was rising too). It looks like this one, which is in the LMC and our WFS read as R=12.1 mag, will not work as a good astrometric calibrator for GPI.

Attempting an astrometric field – a quick snap-shot of HD 269433 in Ks-band Narrow camera. The circle is the GPI field of view.

Jason Wang is blogging about GPI this week and we tried to keep up with him:

Trying to keep up with Jason

Over at GPI, the GPIES team saw a vizcacha tonight by Gemini. I wonder if they stole ours, we have had so few sightings this run! But tonight, Jared did see one or two vizzies by Magellan at sunset:

Vizcachas at sunset

Also, we also saw a herd of burros on our way up to the top tonight:

Donkeys on our way up to the top

And we took a picture for our loved ones back home:

Hello everybodeeee!

Finally, today is Jared’s mom’s birthday, so here are some pictures of her favorite oldest son for her to enjoy:

Happy birthday to Jared’s mom!

And finally, here is a beautiful song from South Africa: