2015B Day 18: #LifeOnMagAO

We seem to have more problems on *our* nights than on any others. I guess that’s a great customer service policy, but we’re really in this to do our own science. So, the X stage is dead (again) and it says “Morzinski” on the schedule. We spent the first half of the night fairly desperately trying to get the motor to move to just the right spot so that we could take our observations. The problem is the optical encoder (we think — if you’re keeping track that’s about the 11th explanation we’ve come up with). This means the motor doesn’t know where it is, so I spent 3 hours out on the platform pressing “go” and the “stop” as fast as I could to try to get it to hop to the right spot.

It finally landed exactly where we want it, and it is now turned off never to be turned on again. Or at least until we can safely troubleshoot it. For now, we are in a scientifically productive state and we’re leaving it there.

Just in case you ever wondered how this is handled around here.
The Magellan Clay 6.5 m primary mirror. Product of Steward Observatory Mirror Lab.
A nice sunrise view from the road.

Here’s some more Amazing Grace.