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 this over and over and over again in search of perfection.
Here’s the result. Looking AMAZING.

The following images are just filler:

Action Vizzy!
Fox antics at dinner — they know when the food is out.

The big MagAO-X news is that Logan and Avalon arrived today! All three of our teams have successfully made it to LCO with no problems at SCL. If you squint down in the valley you can see the dust trail of their van, which we noticed while eating dinner outside.

Click to enbiggen, and look for the dust plume to the left of the leftward pole, down in the valley.

Now for the big news of the day. I have a new friend!!!!!!! On my way for a run, I strolled out of room just as one of the burros came through two of the dorms and started down the path ahead of me.

Once I started to catch up, he turned around. I think maybe he realized I was between him and his family, but he also didn’t mind much. In fact, he put his head down, relaxed his ears, and took a couple of steps towards me: which the farm kid in me recognized as classic horse for “hi, it’s ok to pet me”. I did not misinterpret:

Apologies for the vertical video. It’s hard to hold a phone and pet a burro at the same time.

Though the body language is the same, unlike the horses I know, burros do not appear to like their ears scritched. But face, nose, and chin are fine.

I then heard a clip clop behind me and realized it wasn’t just us:

You’ll recognize our friend the lovely Backup Burrito. She realized it was me and kept on trucking lest I put her back to work.

About 20 minutes later I passed them when I was running back up the hill from the bodega. The adults just looked at me briefly and kept going. But Backup Burrito stopped and acted like she was trying to work up the courage to smell my hand. But not yet.