MagAO-eXtreme Posts

  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 26: The real last night

    2022-04-23

    Alycia Weinberger

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 26: The real last night
    Yes, Jared, it really is the last night! I wish I could send a supersonic shipment to the MagAOX team to sustain them while they quickly pack up everything in the next day or so. I’d include really good coffee and Coke Zero (“We’ve really disrupted the economy of Las Campanas” –Joseph on the ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 25: The fake last night

    2022-04-23

    Sebastiaan Haffert

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 25: The fake last night
    We thought that we would go on-sky with MagAO-X for 14 nights when we left Tucson nearly 4 weeks ago. However, after some heated debate we realized that we never checked the official schedule of the telescope. Well, we got another night coming up. Luckily we build in a day of contingency and we can ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 24: Getting dispersed

    2022-04-22

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 24: Getting dispersed
    Tonight was split 50/50 between Dr. Weinberger and Dr. Haffert. Once Alycia’s observations were done, Sebastiaan started commissioning his extreme, visible, high-resolution, MagAO-X-fed, integral field spectrograph VIS-X. There was a little bit of panic initially when the laptop pinch-hitting for “VIS-X instrument control computer” wouldn’t talk to the camera, but Sebastiaan shimmied up the ladder ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 23: Feeling Remote

    2022-04-20

    Alycia Weinberger

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 23: Feeling Remote
    Late last year, we surveyed the Magellan community about what was lost and what was gained from remote observing. 10/28 people who had used a new instrument during remote observing cited a downside as the difficulty learning to use a new instrument. Obviously, MagAO-X wasn’t on during the 14 months of remote observing to that ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 22: A Hole Thing

    2022-04-20

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 22: A Hole Thing
    Today we got up early (3:00 P.M.) for a tour of the Giant Magellan Telescope construction site, arranged by our fearless leader. We met with architect Francisco Figueroa at the site, who was happy to show us around—as soon as we put on vests, hard hats, gloves, safety glasses, a high-visibility safety vest, and safety-toe ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 21: It was bound to happen eventually.

    2022-04-19

    Logan Pearce

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 21: It was bound to happen eventually.
    Whelp, here we are. After 20 days of the most excellent weather and 9 nights of impeccable seeing (last night was truly remarkable observing conditions!) we have finally hit a night with some clouds. We spent some time on a target for one of our collaborators and got her some good data, but ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 20: Excellent Seeing and Science

    2022-04-18

    Laird Close

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 20: Excellent Seeing and Science
    So today was day 9/14 of our on-sky run on the Clay telescope and it was a particularly awesome night! The seeing (how astronomers quantify the turbulence in the atmosphere) was very good all night. A great Easter Sunday treat (as were all the delicious empanadas). A perfect night, excellent conditions all night long ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 19: MAPS & SCExAO to the rescue

    2022-04-17

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 19: MAPS & SCExAO to the rescue
    MagAO-X is proving to be a complicated beast. Just when we think we’re making progress at taming it, we find another thing that doesn’t quite work yet — or is just plain failing. Sometimes we need help from our collaborators working on similar AO systems. We’ve been getting really nice performance, but with a ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 18: Rainbows in the sky

    2022-04-16

    Sebastiaan Haffert

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 18: Rainbows in the sky
    It is quite a late morning while I am writing this blog post. We had a very successful first night of commissioning of VIS-X. VIS-X is the Visible Integral-field Spectrograph eXtreme (VIS-X). Of course everything we do is extreme. So the spectrograph also had to be extreme. VIS-X is the project that I have been ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 17: Coronagraphic Burrito

    2022-04-15

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 17: Coronagraphic Burrito
    It finally feels like we’re starting to settle in here. We have begun doing hours-long observations of science targets for observers, and that means we can actually take a breath, catch up on email, and bond with our friends at LCO. While having our dinner we were graced by our friend the Burro who likes ...