MagAO-X 2023A Day 10: “The second night is always the hardest one”

Astronomers are a fairly adaptable or masochistic lot. Regular switches between day and night are sought after, locations without much oxygen are prized, and network systems are designed around blocking communication with our own instruments. Observing runs are an oscillating balance between excitement and dejection, determination and delirium, and sleep and awakeness. In this world of contrasts, resilience is honed and prized. There are some times where the hardened star dust of astronomical grit wears thin, however, and this usually comes on the second night of the run. Our circadian rhythms have not yet been forced into submission yet, and the long day followed by a bewildered sleep tends to run its course by 3am. The adrenaline rush of the first milestones have passed, and we aren’t yet settled into the comfortable routine of known problems and sandwich forms.

We will pass through the fire of the transition, and are looking forward to more coherent days to come. In the meantime, I am running out of writing steam and will follow the guidelines that Eden suggested when arguing why I should write the blog tonight.

“I think that you would do such a better job. Topics Warren can put in a blog:
“Him doing PIAA stuff”

Him staring hard at PIAA stuff

Him doing random walks and taking astrophotography”

How he is leaving in two days and will miss Las Campanas

How Eden will be here for 14 more days and will have to write so many more blog posts than Eden

How much Warren cares about Eden and her mental health and how she has to stay up until sunrise”

As a group we made it through the night, and look forward to many more nights making progress and working together. See you all tomorrow.

Edit: Song of the Day

The carpool left promptly at 7am and, bleary from late night picture captions, I forgot everything about finishing blog posts with a song of the day. Tonight is filled with the nostalgia of being my last night at LCO. My fondest memories are filled with late night delirium and accomplished resolve. Laughter against the ever-present backdrop of the night keeps evoking the line:

The sunshine bores the daylights out of me
Chasing shadows, moonlight myster

The memorable association of this song is from walking down the mountain amid the sunrise, squinting against the growing light and looking forward to the dark nights to come.

Edit2: the lost blog post

Eden and Jay convinced me last night to finally post the blog entry that I had started for the AO summer school. It is retrodated here: