MagAO Commissioning Day 14: Closed Loop First Light!!!!!!!!!!

After 13 straight days of nearly perfect cloudless photometric conditions, we woke up to this today.

The first clouds of our run.

So, of course, we decided to go on sky for the first time.

Earlier I caught the grown ups attempting to run the system by themselves. That's Simone Esposito actually operating a Pyramid Wavefront Sensor, and Laird Close taking data with the world's virst diffraction limited visible imager on a large telescope. Phil Hinz offers encouragement and advice. I'm pretty sure this was when tonight's plan was hatched.

We haven’t completed all of our internal calibrations, but going on sky will let us see if they are valid so that we can complete them with confidence. Furthermore, there are many other things we can learn by looking at a real star, with a moving-pointing-guiding telescope. To do this, we had to pull off our calibration return optic (CRO), a.k.a. The Crow. We decided that tonight was the night at about 4pm. The LCO crew responded – Juan, Mauricio, and Pato sprang into action to help us pull the CRO and get the telescope ready. So by dinner, all we needed was a sunset.

After a quick chicken dinner, we just went up and closed the loop.

The complete MagAO system under an evening LCO sky.

Ok. It was harder than that.

The PI ponders the possibilities. All of them.
Alfio closes the MagAO loop for the first time on-sky.
On-sky closed-loop pyramid pupils. The bottom plots show ASM status.
Jared with VisAO's first light.
First light (at Magellan) PSF for Clio2.
Later we looked at a binary. This let us verify that our rotations and platescales are about right.

Thanks to everybody who helped make this happen. We’re just getting started, and there’s lots more to come. Stay tuned!

Some quotes from today:

Laird: “We didn’t come here to get Lucky. We came here to be good.”

Povilas: “We have a situation here, where you’re arguing both sides.”
Simone: “Yes. I’m trying to sound wise.”

Laird: “There had better not be any frisbee tonight.”

Katie: “We’ll never run out of cookies.” (seriously, there are a lot of cookies up here)