MagAO-eXtreme Posts

  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 7: Lab Optical Alignment Comes to End?

    2022-04-04

    Laird Close

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 7: Lab Optical Alignment Comes to End?
    So for the last 48 hours Justin Knight and I have been busy working hard at the optical alignment of MagAO-X. On Saturday, after 30 hours of travelling we arrived at LCO, and had a great dinner (delivered to our door here at LCO as we are in the bubble for the next 3 days). ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 6: on the Sunset Antics of Astronomers and Vizcachas

    2022-04-03

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 6: on the Sunset Antics of Astronomers and Vizcachas
    My day started with a classic LCO breakfast. A perfect way to start the day. After that we ran up the hill and cabled our 2040 actuator MEMS DM. We got it on the first try! We are getting better at this procedure. Sebastiaan and I cabling the tweeter. Photo by Joseph Long. Sebastiaan is testing ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 5: Clogs and cables and comrades arriving

    2022-04-02

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 5: Clogs and cables and comrades arriving
    We’ve got MagAO-X mostly re-cabled in its temporary home in the LCO cleanroom, and Doctors Close and Knight are fresh off the plane and working on the optical alignment. But, earlier, we had a fun discovery: the instrument control computer (ICC) was getting almost no coolant flow. Yesterday, we did some brain surgery on the real-time ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 4: The Backup Burrito

    2022-04-01

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 4: The Backup Burrito
    We hit a pretty major roadblock today. Due to the sky high fuel prices around the globe, Las Campanas Observatory has had to drastically reduce use of most forms of energy, including electricity for cranes, propane for forklifts, and gas for trucks, except as needed for nighttime operations. So we essentially have no ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 3: First visit of LCO

    2022-03-31

    Sebastiaan Haffert

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 3: First visit of LCO
    Two and a half years ago, I came to the University of Arizona to work with MagAO-X. The plan was that MagAO-X would go to the Magellan telescope twice a year. And then suddenly a global pandemic appeared. However, right now we are really at Las Campanas Observatory preparing for an observing run! We arrived ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 2: Way To Go Past Us

    2022-03-30

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 2: Way To Go Past Us
    When we last left LCO we expected to be back in just 3.5 months. We’re nerds of the science and engineering type, so we tend to take lots of notes and pictures because we think we want to remember this or that. But there are always those things where you don’t even think ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 1: Unloading with distanciamiento de un metro

    2022-03-29

    Joseph Long

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 1: Unloading with distanciamiento de un metro
    (distanciamiento de un metro is distancing of 1 meter, a required anti-COVID-19 measure) MagAO-X arrived on its truck from Santiago this afternoon, and a familiar team of forklift operators and engineers was here to unload it. The next shift will have some new faces, but this shift was people we knew from The Before Times. We ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 0: Travel time time travel

    2022-03-28

    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

    2022-03-14

    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

    2022-03-09

    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 ...