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:

This old man/monster is here to wish you a happy Halloween. I think he was supposed to frighten away the clouds but they came on thick n patchy all night long.

He looks scary but we let him run our instrument. And he did a great job of frightening the PI.

Jared scared Laird with his mask pretty well.

The Babcock Lodge with Altocumulus Mackerel clouds

I did a bit of searching to try and figure out what that gorgeous display of clouds was. I’m going to go with Altocumulus Mackerel. Look it up. But I can’t tell if it’s going to be, “Mackerel in the sky, three days dry,” or “Mackerel sky, mackerel sky. Never long wet and never long dry.”

Clouds from the summit. Here you can really see the sky through the patches.

Tonight, though, the clouds remained thick and patchy until the dawn. We were still able to work through the clouds, locking on an 0.5-mag star (Achernar) and later, a -1st mag star (Canopus). The AO system reports the magnitude back to us and we had up to 9 mags of extinction! But this was sufficient to do our tests of things like software, communications, and scripting. I also tested Clio’s wide camera.

Aligning the wide camera – The dark hole in the center and the 2 dark lines coming out at 5:00 and 11:00 are the cold stop; the bright part is the warm ASM spiders — here I am lining them up so that the pupils are aligned to get good unvignetted images.

Yesterday I was able to focus Clio and verify that our focus positions haven’t changed since the last run.

An example of how we focus Clio.

Our Chilean students (Javier Garcés, Sebastián Zúñiga, and Mario Castro, from the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa María) left yesterday. We will see them in Tucson in January and look forward to seeing how their vibration data are, which they took last night by attaching their in-house custom accelerometers to the telescope and instrument.

Here were the students yesterday attaching the accelerometers that they built to various parts of the telescope and instrument.

Anyway, it was a good night even for the clouds, because we were able to do so much testing. I’ll leave you with a couple more pictures and the song of the day.

“Dinner”/Breakfast… super yummy!
Panorama of Cerro Manqui with Altocumulus Mackerel clouds (I think)