MagAO Commissioning Day 20: Vizzy Quake

Tonight started with a hard to understand communications problem between our AO system and the telescope control system (TCS). It’s been working for days, but tonight we started having some messages get dropped. We have to keep the elevation of the telescope above a certain value to keep our delicate mirror safe, and this communications problem was causing us to stop getting elevation often enough. So our mirror RIP-ed, which means rest-in-peace. We don’t know what’s going on, but we hacked our way out of it by changing some timings. Troubleshooting begins again tomorrow after supper – I can’t wait.

Jared and Povilas working out some AO to telescope communications

After that, we had a very productive night. We looked at a standard star to calibrate our filters, and also looked at some well known clusters of stars to calibrate the plate-scales of our camera. Both cameras also had their foci checked. Kind of boring scientifically, but it’s important that we characterize our new instruments on real stars.

Katie getting Clio where she wants it.
Kate got a bunch of SDI data tonight.
TJ reducing data on his lap.

Katie and I were charged by a Viscacaha on our way down the mountain this morning. They’re turning against us.

This is one of our "tame" ASB friends. One of the "wild" ones ran straight at us this morning, and swerved at the last minute. They can really move.

And as I’m typing this we just got hit with an earthquake:

5.2 earthquake at 150 km, 6:30am

We also saw a hare this morning, a MagAO first.

A hare running through the rocks. Try hard.

“I’m a fan too, not just your families. I miss viscachas.” – Prof. Dan Marrone, captain of the Steward Observatory softball team and MagAO enthusiast.

“Keep calm and carry on.” – Runa Briguglio.