Yesterday, after our last night on-sky, we began moving the instrument off of the telescope to get it ready to ship back home to Tucson. This also meant that we had to shift back to a day schedule, so Laird and I woke up from a short nap to begin the move at 8:00 am while Jared, Joseph, and Kyle went to bed. The days get a bit mixed up when switching between night and day schedules, so today’s blog post will include events from yesterday and today.
We began building the cart around MagAO-X on the Nasmyth platform on the morning of day 10.
We lifted the cart up to the instrument using the crane and bolted it to the instrument. Then, we lifted up the instrument off of its legs and rolled the legs away.
Then, we rolled the instrument into the Auxiliary building.
To ensure that MagAO-X is installed on the telescope exactly the same way in May 2020, we had the mechanics match-drill four of the table leg plates to the Nasmyth platform. This will help us find the exact alignment position of MagAO-X in the future, to make the alignment process faster and easier.
Laird and I wrapped up the instrument in saran-wrap and emergency blankets for the move from the telescope to the clean room (the emergency blankets are to protect the instrument from excessive heat exposure from the sun).
After waiting for several hours for the Isuzu truck, we finally moved everything to the clean room.
Finally, Laird and I crashed for the night and our first attempt to stay on a day schedule was somewhat successful.
Today, we woke up early for breakfast and said farewell to Kyle, Joseph, and Olivier as they left on the 8:00 am shuttle.
Then Jared, Laird and I headed up to the clean room to pack up the optics and make sure that everything was ready for shipping. When the mechanics arrived, we packed up MagAO-X!
And after the 3 total weeks I’ve spent at Las Campanas Observatory hearing about “Gary the Guanaco,” I finally got to witness the true majesty of this creature up close and personal today. Gary gave me just enough time to take all the pictures I wanted, even posing for me while I was at it.
There is but one day left for the MagAO-X team until we finally head home for the holidays. All we have to do is pack up the electronics rack and do some final organizing, so things are looking good!
Today’s song of the day will be Chris Hadfield’s “Space Oddity,” the first music video ever recorded in space. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should check it out!