MagAO-X 2024Aa Day 13: Conjugate

We finally had an all-night good night. Started with what we call engineering, which means testing new ways of operating the instrument. The big news is that Sebastiaan got his “implicit Electric Field Conjugation” algorithm to work on-sky. This brings MagAO-X almost to its as-planned fully capability. Here’s what that looks like to one of our highly trained operators:

A fully armed and operational MagAO-X station.

Why would one want to conjugate an electric field? Let’s let Sebastiaan explain:

Speckles are why twinkling is bad for science

After the instrument-science experiments, we spent the rest of the night hunting planets. Tonight was almost one of those legendary Cerro Manqui nights that keeps us coming back over and over again. It was essentially 0.5″ seeing all night, but we were plagued by our version of the low-wind effect. However instead of Mickey Mouse, we get the Bouncey House: when the wind drops to 0.0 the telescope gets bored and starts to bounce. It makes our control loop more or less impossible to optimize.

We have been conjugating other things too.

Telescopes day
Telescope night
Viscachas demonstrating the principle of reversibility.

The song: