MagAO-X 2022B Day 17: An Excellent Day for Atmosphere Watching

Tonight we experienced seeing values that made certain lab members say “Oh lord!”, or “I thought we were taking darks”.

Seeing is -quite literally- off the charts

Unfortunately for tonight’s observers, we had to close the telescope early. Not only was seeing making it quite impossible to produce any useful data, but the TO went outside at about 4am and noticed condensation on the sides of the building.

Nonetheless, the night was not a waste as we got to squeeze in a bit of Engineering and were able to use our lab source to continue testing after the dome had closed. Dr. Sebastiaan Haffert and I have been working on a knife edge Lyot coronagraph (inspired by him and fabricated by me), and we got to take our first on-sky data with this earlier in the night. Not only was it exciting to see my handy work in action, but I even got to close a tip/tilt control loop on the reflected psf!

Etched, coated, and lithography doted!

Before the night began, we got to enjoy our last sunset with SO PhD student Jailin (she heads back to the States this morning) and our first sunset with Dr. Alycia Weinberger.

Always candid!
I swear there was actually a green flash this time…

Shortly after sundown, P.I. Dr. Males was able to capture a pretty cool shot of the Clay primary as it was aiming low on the horizon.

Those stars are a reflection off of the 6.5m primary mirror. The telescope isn’t usually pointed so low as to where you can capture a viewing like this.

Thank you for reading my short and sweet update. We leave you, as always, with the song of the day!