MagAO-X 2024Aa Day 19: The Happy MagAO-X Bunny

Today was our second to last night and our last engineering night. We all woke up (or went to bed) with a happy surprise because today was Easter. We all got some chocolates and some unknown piece of candy.

The bag of candy that everyone got.
The interesting textured candy that is not chocolate.

The night itself went all over the place. We did a lot of coronagraph engineering and EFC tests. These went well for the conditions that we had to work in. And, we were able to squeeze in some time for on-sky testing of the Holographic Dispersed Fringe Sensor (TM). It is the sensor that we are developing to phase the segmented primary of the Giant Magellan Telescope.

The HDFS showing off all its barberpoles. Each fringe here is sensitive to a differential piston between segments.

After the HDFS engineering, we went to A Cen. One might think that this is Alpha Centauri but this is definitely not true! We observed A Cen and it was not Alpha Centauri, it was a random other bright star. We only realized this after aligning the whole system. The telescope operator was quickly given a new catalogue that contained only Alpha Cen so that we did not make the same mistake again. We stayed on Alpha Cen for almost the whole night. The night was wrapped up with some Baade’s Window and another accelerating star with a low-mass companion. All-in-all a pretty good night, even though we had some setbacks.

Today, Carlos was sneaking around the lodge. Eden was on the ball and shot some incredible pictures of Carlos. It is trying to sneak around and find food around the lodge. A little bit up the road to the telescope, Jared encountered a horse together with its baby horse.

Today was a good day for animal viewing. In a couple of months you will find our Andean wild life documentary on Netflix.

For today we are going with an astronomy themed song!