MagAO-X 2019B

  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 13: It Works!

    2019-12-12

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 13: It Works!Well that was exciting. The last three of us are on our way back to Tucson. We love being at LCO, but after spending most of two months there it’s a great feeling to be going home. In case you missed it, MagAO-X works! We can close the loop on sky with real starlight propagating ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 12: The End

    2019-12-11

    Alex Hedglen

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 12: The End Well it has been a long, exciting, and successful run for MagAO-X first light, but now it is time to say goodbye to LCO (until next time). We successfully closed the loop on-sky with MagAO-X and took plenty of data to take home with us, and now we are all packed and ready to ship ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 11: Packing Up

    2019-12-10

    Alex Hedglen

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 11: Packing Up Yesterday, after our last night on-sky, we began moving the instrument off of the telescope to get it ready to ship back home to Tucson. This also meant that we had to shift back to a day schedule, so Laird and I woke up from a short nap to begin the move at 8:00 am ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 10: The Blog Must Go On

    2019-12-09

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 10: The Blog Must Go On Last night was our fourth on-sky night. It also ran right in to our instrument removal/moving day. So, we went from taking a nice long dataset of beta Pictoris directly into taking off cables and connectors for our electronics. I’m still awake, despite feeling like someone dropped a truck on me, so I might as ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 9: Third Light

    2019-12-08

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 9: Third Light “Can we stop calling it Nth light?” Dr. Jared Robert Males Tonight marked MagAO-X’s return to doing AO on starlight rather than an internal calibration source. The Observatory kindly allowed us to remain in place on the platform, so our return to operations was as simple as turning off the lamp and closing the loop on the ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 8: The Intermission Continues

    2019-12-07

    Kyle Van Gorkom

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 8: The Intermission Continues We’re on the third and final night of the intermission between the MagAO-X on-sky nights. Tomorrow (which is now today), we’ll spin the tertiary around to feed starlight down the waiting maw of MagAO-X for the third time. In the meantime, we’ve continued to work out bugs, close and refine the loop on our internal ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 7: The Eyepiece

    2019-12-05

    Alex Hedglen

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 7: The Eyepiece Today, we present the eyepiece of MagAO-X!! Back in the day, astronomy was only ever done with an eyepiece. But now, we have far better technology than our own eyeballs to do science. If Galileo or Edwin Hubble were looking down at us, they would probably be jealous. Hubble looking through the eyepiece of the ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 6: Sleepless in La Serena

    2019-12-05

    Maggie Kautz

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 6: Sleepless in La Serena This title is somewhat misleading, after observing last night most of the team spent the whole day sleeping and stayed up working all of tonight. Olivier and I were the only ones to make it to lunch today and he put it best: “We value food more than the others, or perhaps we value sleep ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 5: Second Light

    2019-12-04

    Alex Hedglen

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 5: Second Light Today marks another historic and successful night of MagAO-X First Light…First Light Part 2! By the end of the long 24-hour day yesterday, we were all falling asleep in our chairs (except for Olivier who has mastered the art of staying awake). But thanks to Joseph’s heroic efforts, we were still able to produce a ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 4: First Light

    2019-12-03

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 4: First Light Today (and tonight) is first light, the special time in every instrument project where you finally use it to look at astronomical targets instead of test light sources. This is also a twenty-four hour workday, with a full day of instrument preparation followed by a full night of observing and commissioning. Kyle Van Gorkom gears up ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 2: Chillin’ in Chile

    2019-11-30

    Maggie Kautz

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 2: Chillin' in Chile Hello XWCL! This is my inaugural blog post so buckle up because it is going to be a sleep-deprived ride. Laird and Alex spent the day prepping the instrument for transport to the telescopes while Jared, Joseph, Kyle, and I were putting the “finishing touches” on various pieces of code. Kyle, Joseph and ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 1: Black Friday Specials

    2019-11-29

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 1: Black Friday Specials Just for today, my friends, we have an unbeatable special offer: with each concurrency bug you find, we will throw in another concurrency bug for free! And, if you call now, we will throw in a semaphore collision bug at no charge! That’s a $49.99 value! Call now! Or, if you prefer an event-driven programming model: let ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Day 0: Thanksgiving Arrival

    2019-11-28

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Day 0: Thanksgiving ArrivalMaggie, Joseph, Alex, Kyle, Laird, and Jared arrived at LCO today to prepare MagAO-X for our first time on-sky.  We missed thanksgiving with our non-LCO families, but the chefs made us turkey so we got a good holiday meal (thanks guys!). We’ve already started MagAO-X back up and are making a bunch of last minute tweaks ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 12: Traditions

    2019-11-18

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 12: TraditionsIt’s an old MagAO tradition to take selfies for our moms in the mirror that gets you around the bend at the summit.  Long story, but it’s also tradition for it to be poop covered unless Alan is here. Tonight’s song is “I miss the misery” by Halestorm. Since the casual reader of this blog hasn’t ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 11: These Kids Can Ball

    2019-11-17

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 11: These Kids Can BallIn the gym today I noticed a bunch of new trophies. Check it out: This is the clearly the best observatory. These guys agree: I missed the sunset, but came out of the cleanroom in time to catch this: Today’s song is Miley Cyrus’s version of Jolene (the Backyard Sessions one).
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 10: On The Correlation Between Viscachas and Windspeed

    2019-11-16

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 10: On The Correlation Between Viscachas and WindspeedAs Joseph reported yesterday, we couldn’t find any sign of our viscacha friends and we suspected it was due to the high winds and colder temperatures. Today I was able to gather more evidence. A correlation is seen between the local density of viscachas and the wind speed at their location. The following plot illustrates: We ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 9: Pushing buttons

    2019-11-15

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 9: Pushing buttons This was, incredibly, a zero-viscacha day. It was quite windy, a bit chilly, and there may have been a viscacha conference (¿visconferencia?) in the next valley over. Dr. Jared R. Males, MagAO-X field biologist, in search of the elusive wild viscacha. Or just stretching his legs after a long day of coding. Meanwhile, in MagAO-X land, we ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 8: And then there were two

    2019-11-14

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 8: And then there were two Two days left on the mountain, and two people left from our group. This morning Laird, Amali, Emily, and Katie headed back to Arizona. That means that it’s just me and Jared here from the XWCL. I have another full day, while Jared remains until Wednesday—with only the video chats of Olivier Guyon (international astronomical ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 7: I broke Megadesk.

    2019-11-13

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 7: I broke Megadesk. Friends, this was supposed to be a celebratory blog post. My web-based interface to MagAO-X is getting to the stage where it’s actually useful. My suitcase finally arrived from airline purgatory. I finished my SPIE 2020 abstract. I found out how to make the soda machine dispense plain fizzy water (my one non-caffeinated vice). However, fate ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 6: Keeping The Loop Closed

    2019-11-12

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 6: Keeping The Loop ClosedWell I forgot to take many pictures today, and I forgot to motivate someone else to write the blog. We got lots of work done today. Laird and Alex tested the alignment laser system. Kyle perfected a big part of our offloading system (where we send commands to the telescope from when our AO system needs ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 5: Airy Disks

    2019-11-11

    Kyle Van Gorkom

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 5: Airy Disks Today we got our first proper airy disk at LCO! This morning, Laird and Alex rotated the K-mirror to a more optimal position and re-aligned the rest of the optical train. I switched out a board in an ALPAO driver to one that lets us power the NCPC (non-common-path-corrector) DM remotely, which saves us many hypothetical ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 4: Survival

    2019-11-10

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 4: SurvivalMagAO-X is alive! After being boxed up, shipped from Tucson to Phoenix to LA (we think — a little fuzzy) to Miami, with a long pause, then to Santiago, braving the dangers of revolution (and customs (and customs strikes!)), and a trip by truck (always touchy, this time with road blocks!), and finally being craned ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 3: Cabling

    2019-11-09

    Alex Hedglen

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 3: Cabling Well it was another long but successful day for MagAO-X. We fully integrated the electronics rack with the instrument and began the optical alignment! Impressively, the optical alignment looked almost exactly the way we left it in Tucson. After all that MagAO-X has been through on its way to Chile, we were worried that the ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 2: MagAO-X Does Bongs

    2019-11-08

    Kyle Van Gorkom

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 2: MagAO-X Does BongsUnpacking Day 2 marks the 3rd day of MagAO-X unpacking activities, which only makes sense if you’re a computer scientist or you just try not to think about it too much. Alex and Laird began the day by removing the teflon bars that had been installed in front of particularly expensive optics for protection during shipping. Laird ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 1: The Unpackening

    2019-11-07

    Alex Hedglen

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 1: The Unpackening So it’s finally time to write my first blog post! My name is Alex Hedglen and I’m a 3rd year Optical Sciences PhD student at the University of Arizona! I’ve been involved with MagAO-X for the past couple of years, mainly helping Laird with the optomechanical design and alignment of the instrument. My first ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 0: The Arrival

    2019-11-06

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day 0: The ArrivalMagAO-X is now at Las Campanas Observatory! The truck finally made it up the hill at about 3 pm, and we got all of our boxes safely off. Things are pretty busy, with MagAO-C and now MagAO-X unpacking. There are lots more cool pictures, but not enough time to post them. I am bound by the ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day -1: Almost There

    2019-11-05

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day -1: Almost ThereWell we made it through customs, and are on a truck. We expect delivery of MagAO-X to LCO around 2 pm local time tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise, it was all MagAO-C all the time. If you’ve ever been to an NBA game, you’ll recognize this song. If MagAO-X arrives safely, I plan to make Laird, Kyle, and ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day -2 (-1?): Santiago!

    2019-11-04

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day -2 (-1?): Santiago!MagAO-X arrived in Santiago yesterday! There’s even a chance that it gets to LCO tomorrow. My plan has been to call “Day 0” the day it actually arrives, so maybe we have to reset the blog counter. Alex v2 and Kyle arrive today. Other than Jared and Laird worrying about it, no MagAO-X work was done ...
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day -3 (estimated): Still Waiting

    2019-11-03

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day -3 (estimated): Still WaitingMagAO-X is probably in Santiago.  But the shipper isn’t updating their website, so . . . We unpacked some stuff that we shipped down to help with MagAO-X, so it wasn’t all MagAO-C. The MagAO-X song of the day is Alive, by Pearl Jam:
  • MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day -4 (estimated): Waiting

    2019-11-02

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2019B Unpacking Day -4 (estimated): WaitingLaird and I arrived back at LCO last night. It’s been 18 months since we were here. Lots of little changes, and some new faces around the mountain — but it’s mostly the same as it ever was. We’re supposed to be unpacking our new instrument MagAO-X. But . . . our shipment has been delayed ...