MagAO-eXtreme Posts

  • Orbital Mechanics Trivia


    Vizzy Viscacha

    Orbital Mechanics Trivia
    As a viscacha, integral and differential calculus are beyond me. However, it does seem to be spring again here in the southern hemisphere, and my calendar indicates it has been one full year since the last October 14th we saw. (I’d double-check my facts with some of the cientificos, but I haven’t seen them in a ...
  • Happy 5 Year Anniversary, CACTI!


    Jhen Lumbres

    Happy 5 Year Anniversary, CACTI!
    Today is the Autumnal Equinox, the official end of summer and the start of autumn in the northern hemisphere. Autumn doesn’t really mean much here in Tucson, except our days of constant 100+F heat is waning down. (This does not barricade me from getting a PSL.) A more important date is 8 days away on ...
  • Desert Hackberry Pie: A Perilous Quest


    Jared Males

    Desert Hackberry Pie: A Perilous Quest
    This is a recipe post in the traditional internet style. Part I: The Rains We have had a fairly incredible monsoon season. It just keeps raining and raining here in Tucson, and everything around us is enjoying it. Since this is a science blog, we should start with evidence for these assertions. The plot shows our ...
  • The Monsoon Begins


    Jared Males

    The Monsoon Begins
    After a long, dry, and recently HOT year, it appears that the monsoon has begun! Today felt like the first snow used to feel when I lived somewhere more North. The only downside to the monsoon is that the storms often keep us from operating our sensitive equipment. Here’s a real-time lightning map from ...
  • New Lab Member


    Logan Pearce

    New Lab Member
    A beautiful Tucson sunset tonight + iPhone portrait mode + a smidge of the secret Adobe Lightroom sauce = impromptu photo shoot! Please welcome the new member of XWC Lab, a new LAB member! Meet Lani, my new 2 year old yellow lab! Lani came to me via friend of a friend who was looking to ...
  • Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Schatz!


    Joseph Long

    Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Schatz!
    Resident pyramid expert Dr. Lauren Schatz defended her thesis work today, despite pandemic pandemonium. The field has decided to accept her (with minor revisions), and she will be joining the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico later this year. We’ll miss her a lot, but every wavefront sensed by MagAO-X will have her fingerprints ...
  • Non-stationary Stationery


    Jhen Lumbres

    Non-stationary Stationery
    One of the most painful things I’ve had to do in graduate school is writing. It’s probably the worst necessary evil in academia. I’ll take documentation and giving presentations any day over writing papers. I’ve finished writing the first full draft of the MagAO-X Fresnel modeling paper and it’s going through the comment cycles. But ...
  • First Closed-Loop Experiment with the GMT Simulator


    Alex Hedglen

    First Closed-Loop Experiment with the GMT Simulator
    Tonight was supposed to be MagAO-X’s third night on sky with the Magellan Clay telescope in Chile, but due to the pandemic, MagAO-X is still sitting in the lab in Tucson. It’s sad that we haven’t been to Chile since 2019, but we have been making the most of the time that we do have ...
  • Fake it ’til you make it


    Joseph Long

    Fake it 'til you make it
    Steward Observatory and Department of Astronomy tradition is to spend valuable grad student time concocting plans to amuse, vex, or embarrass the principal investigator. Note to P.I.: This also means any embarrassing mistakes you’ve seen me make have been absolutely intentional. We call these pranks, though I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. In any case, we ...
  • Sunset Here But Not There


    Jared Males

    Sunset Here But Not There
    The sun has just set here in Tucson. But we were supposed to be watching the sunset at LCO tonight, taking our usual break from preparing our instrument for a night of observing. On the schedule, this was to be our first of eleven nights exploring the sky with MagAO-X. An LCO sunset ...