MagAO-X 2024Aa Day 17: The People’s Cheese

Well, it’s nearly time to add another MagAO-X night under our belt and be greeted by the calls of the exceedingly uncommon black-billed shrike-tyrant (identified by Prof. Close!) from atop the lodge. I won’t be able to top the wonderful post by our skilled telescope operator, but the show must go on.

The Magellan Clay looking magestic as heck during today’s sunset.

Tonight was an engineering/Sebastiaan night and our awesome Dutch postdoc is probably in full-on zombie mode as he has been up for nearly 24 hours getting the VIS-X instrument up to speed, which is a MagAO-X fed, visible wavelength, integral field spectrograph to the eXtreme. In addition to that, he and Josh have been hard at work commissioning implicit-Electric Field Conjugation, which is just a fancy term for “black magic speckle zapping”. Speckles are a type of noise in high-contrast imaging that are easily mistaken for planets or other point sources of interest, so it’s really important that they are suppressed as much as possible.

The above images demonstrate the power of iEFC coupled with our knife-edge coronagraph, which blocks the host star in the middle of the frame. See how speckles are actually very effective exoplanet interlopers (top right)? No bueno.

Let’s break for a moment to appreciate the various Equidae who take residence on the mountain. I would like to point out that these photos were shot by the wickedly-talented Jialin Li, who also demanded I stop the car I was driving us in halfway up the road to the telescopes take these pics. No biggie, just 6 complete stops on measly 50 degree incline while driving a stick-shift…!

I regret to inform our blog followers that a crime has been committed here at the Clay telescope. Josh was quickly apprehended as the prime suspect and soon confessed to accidentally taking a massive honkin’ bite out of the middle of the cheese block. The honorable Judge Logan made the remark “This is a public cheese. Everyone has to use this cheese.” before sentencing him to eat his mistake. Apparently everyone took pity on Josh and decided to help him carry out his punishment because this was a full block of cheese at the beginning of the night…!

Ok, ok. Josh didn’t *actually* take a big’ bite out of the cheese.

We’ll end with a pretty picture of the burros during golden hour.

Hi, Harley and Savannah!

…aaaaand a sweet picture of Magellan Clay basking in the moonlight during prime time.

Another J. Li original

Song of the Day

We can all thank Josh for brieing cordial and introducing all of us to the GOAT, Ricardo Queso, who is sharply relevant today, may he rest in cheese. The original is a song some us might have gruyere up listening to or have fondue memories of, as it’s a gouda song, made beddar by the ripe wit of R. Cheese. Though good music is best spotted by the rind’s eye, it’s never a bleu day when the bad vibes are sliced off by creamy melody. After all, it just ain’t a party without havarti.