MagAO-eXtreme Posts

  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 0: Travel time time travel


    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 0: Travel time time travel
    To reach Las Campanas Observatory, of course you must book an eye-wateringly-expensive airplane ticket, but once you get here you must still traverse the Santiago airport, a.k.a. Aeropuerto Internacional Arturo Merino Benítez, a.k.a. Nuevo Pudahuel, a.k.a. SCL. For important pedagogical reasons (i.e. four more people coming in two more waves) I will describe how it went. ...
  • Behold: Alexander T. Rodack, Ph.D


    Justin Knight

    Alexander T. Rodack began the day as any ordinary graduate student: tired, depressed, and wondering when, if ever, it will end? Well Alex, today is that day. Welcome to having a doctorate from the College of Optical Sciences! I’m sure everyone who attended your dissertation defense thoroughly enjoyed your talk. And for those that weren’t ...
  • MagAO-X Ships Out


    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X Ships Out
    Last Friday our shipping contractor (or at least our shipping contractor’s contractor) collected MagAO-X. Grad students are for pushing heavy things Hurry up and wait Fork yeah MySpace angles End of the beginning After it was loaded, Dr. Males said “I’m going home to not think about MagAO-X,” as is tradition. MagAO-X now travels by ground to Miami, then by air to ...
  • Packing for MagAO-X 2022A


    Joseph Long

    Packing for MagAO-X 2022A
    Looks like we might actually be doing this … if World War 3 doesn’t break out first. Please enjoy this video of today’s activities from clips taken by me and Alex Hedglen. Since rights-holders can be so mean about these things, no audio track is included. However, I recommend playing the song of the day at ...
  • In which Dr. Males de-cables the octopus (and more)


    Joseph Long

    In which Dr. Males de-cables the octopus (and more)
    With cautious optimism, we are approaching the second ever MagAO-X ship date. It’s hard to believe that it has been 2.5 years since we last did this! The system has grown in complexity in the interim, gaining a spectrograph named VIS-X (P.I. Sebastiaan Haffert) as well as many new controllable degrees of freedom. (Always need ...
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Lumbres!


    Jay Kueny

    Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Lumbres!
    The city of Tucson was made brighter today with the passing of Jhen’s PhD defense and a much-deserved level up. A huge round of applause for Dr. Lumbres! Jhen’s talk was very comprehensive regarding her various projects she’s taken on during her time here at UArizona. If you’re like me, you learned a lot about the ...
  • Pyramid Schemes & Piston Dreams


    Maggie Kautz

    Pyramid Schemes & Piston Dreams
    For about a year, Laird, Alex H., and I have been putting together the protoype-High Contrast Adaptive Optics Testbed (P-HCAT). P-HCAT sent half of the simulated GMT pupil to the “Holey Mirror” which, as the name suggests, is a mirror with a hole in it. Holey Mirror The holey mirror is able to simulate a piston ...
  • 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 ...