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

The AO system ran very well tonight. We were able to stay locked for hours making excellent images– without really any attention being paid to the AO system once she was locked. This is an excellent sign that most of the difficult system of nested loops of MagAO-X are all now well understood and the hard work of everyone is really paying off!

There was also great science being done by Sebastiaan Haffert who was able to quickly (in 15min) detect the brown dwarf companion PZ Tel in a recent dataset (with cold -55C cameras this time). See below for his quick reduction of the brown dwarf companion:

The brown dwarf companion (at 10 o’clock) PZ Tel at Halpha (0.6563 microns), by Sebastiaan Haffert

We also looked for some protoplanets at Halpha (where young planets glow as they gather hydrogen gas onto their surfaces). We took data with our friends and collaborators at the University Michigan. And graduate student Logan Pearce made an exciting discovery!

Earlier today Jared took some great photos of the MagAO-X instrument on the platform at the Clay telescope

MagAO-X enjoying some rare sunshine through the open slit of Clay (Baade Telescope in background) photo by Jared Males

What probably got the most attention was the discovery that there are 3 culpeos (foxes) living at the observatory with us.

What a cute little face!

Readers of the blog will know that these little guys are very playful as can be seen from Joseph’s video below:

Song of the day

Well this night has been amazing and MagAOX has blinded us with her science (and laser sharp images), so that kind of leads to this song of the day: