MagAO Commissioning Day 24: Rookie post

This is my first post…had to do it some time….

Tonight was divided up into two separate halves. In the first half of the night, we went back to some faint guide stars to both confirm that the AO could reliably lock on them, and to test out a few bugs on Clio.

The previous night, Clio had some pupil misalignment issues (human error by ME), causing light leaks and overall bad quality data at J, H, and Ks (the wavelengths needed for the galaxy imaging). We repeated one set of the galaxy imaging tonight after fixing the problems with Clio, and it was like night and day: much better performance at short wavelengths. This was a big relief.

After the first galaxy was imaged, we moved onto a much bigger, closer, and generally prettier (sorry Dan) galaxy to see if we could lock on the core. And…we can! Here is a beautiful image obtained by Ya-Lin and Laird using the impeccable IRAF:

Laird showing off his IRAF-reduced galaxy

After we showed how awesome galaxies + AO is at Magellan, we tested out some additional wavelengths on Clio, including the “ice” band filter for the first time.

The AO ran pretty smoothly the whole night and so generally it was a fairly quiet night in the control room. Here are a few additional photos from the night:

A tender moment shared between Laird and Ya-Lin, his first-year student.
The many computers doing their thing
KT working hard
Jared operating VisAO like a boss

And the MagAO PI wasn’t satisfied with my earlier picture of his pretty galaxy so here is a “real” image:

Official MagAO-detected galaxy (with north down)

quote of the night (in response to laughs at advisor instructing advisee on how to use IRAF):

“they don’t realize that what you hold in your lap is pure IRAF magic” -Laird

With that…good night/morning.