MagAO-eXtreme Posts

  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 11: The Last Last Bubble

    2022-04-08

    Logan Pearce

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 11: The Last Last Bubble
    As Avalon so illuminated in yesterday’s post, she and I are the last group members to arrive and bubble at LCO. Today was the last full day of our bubble. Tomorrow is the big day: moving MagAO-X to the telescope and finally going on sky! Tomorrow morning we will get our brains ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 10: The Last Bubble

    2022-04-07

    Avalon McLeod

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 10: The Last Bubble
    Yesterday Logan and I arrived here to LCO just after sunset to a group of familiar and friendly faces. The lengthy travel day (well, 27 hour day if you came from Tucson like me) was as enjoyable as one could argue for, especially considering the potential hiccups that can come with international travel in Covid ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 9: New Arrivals and New Friends

    2022-04-06

    Jared Males

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 9: New Arrivals and New Friends
    This picture is to show you that some work happened today: Dr. Sebastiaan Haffert, NASA Sagan Fellow, hard at work flattening MagAO-X. Flat means “optically as perfect as our system is capable of”. The problem is that in this research group “we have standards”, and they are hard to meet. So we do ...
  • MagAO-X 2022A Day 8: LCO first-timers club

    2022-04-05

    Justin Knight

    MagAO-X 2022A Day 8: LCO first-timers club
    I was mistaken, but now I’m not: Sebastiaan, Avalon and I are the only team members on this run who haven’t been to Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) before. However, perhaps situation this extends to at least some of the avid blog readers, so I’d like to share what some of my experience has been like ...
  • 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 ...