MagAO at PPVI: Are you the ones with the visible-light disk?

MagAO is representing at the Protostars and Planets VI conference this week in Heidelberg, Germany. Wie geht’s? Well, so far it’s been an inspiring week, seeing all the strides forward our field has come in understanding how stars and planets form, and their physical and chemical properties, since the last Protostars and Planets (PPV) conference seven years ago. You can follow the latest at Twitter.

Our beautiful PSFs and first-light results have resulted in many questions about how to observe with MagAO. Interested observers should please check out Information for Observers and look for collaborators at the Magellan institutions: Arizona, Carnegie, Michigan, Harvard, MIT, and Chile.

One of our favorite comments so far was when I was meeting another astronomer, and mentioned MagAO/VisAO, and he said, “Are you the ones with the visible-light disk?” This is referring to the beautiful I-band image we have on Jared’s poster of a famous debris disk, of which we captured a gorgeous picture.

Oh and speaking of pictures, did everyone wave at Saturn tonight? At 21:27-21:42UT Cassini was taking a picture of Earth, and we were enjoying a picnic dinner along the Neckarwiese (the park by the Neckar River), so we stood where we could see Saturn and waved. We’re in the Cassini picture!

Here are pictures from the conference this week:

How it all began.
The Schloss at night.
Kate Follette and Keven Flaherty discuss Kate’s poster.
Ilaria Pascucci, a professor in LPL, gave a talk on photo evaporation in disks.
Arizona grad Mary Anne Peters, a former student of Laird who is now working on her PhD at Princeton, showed us her poster on tidally heated exomoons.
Nathan Smith has a cool poster here.
The Heidelberg Schloss dominates the hill side above the town.
Colette Salyk, NOAO Goldberg Fellow, gave a great talk on volatiles in disks.
Megan Reiter explains her poster to an interested PPVIer.
Arizona grad students Brian Svoboda and Youngmin Seo.
The conference reception was at the Schloss. Here’s your MagAO sunset from Heidelberg.
Jason Dittmann, another UA Astronomy + Laird Grad (now at Harvard working on his PhD) shows off his poster.
UA LPL alumn Jonathan Fortney. Yes, that is the Death Star.
MagAO’s own Derek Kopon and his poster — which isn’t even on MagAO!

Quote of the week: “If I’m choking, you all have permission to touch my belly” — Kate Follette.

Runner-up quote: “Is your laptop the Milky Way?” — Chabrier, response to theorist with a dissenting simulation.