MagAO-X 2024Aa Day 2: The stars are (almost) aligned.

Gary Guanaco gazing into the abyss.
Gary werkin’ it for the camera.

Hello and welcome to my first ever blog post! Day 2 began with yet another Gary sighting–our good luck charm for the DM cabling and optical alignment to come. Following our daily dosage of guanaco, we got to work in the clean room.

Me wearing sunglasses in the lab because the future of MagAO-X is looking bright (they were actually hiding the heavy bags underneath my eyes).
Jared debugging a USB issue before we could start DM cabling.

Here at the MagAO-X secondary HQ, we always make sure to ground ourselves (both physically and emotionally) prior to handling expensive electronics.

Eden and Katie checking their grounding wires.
DM cabling requires a lot of concentration. This exercise is not for the faint of heart.

While the MagAO-X youth were hard at work cabling, Maggie and Laird were busy prepping the optical table for its lengthy stay on the Magellan telescope.

Maggie installing velocity sensors underneath the optical table. These sensors will help to keep the table stabilized when it experiences wind at the telescope.

Following a busy morning of cabling, some of us took a short-ish break to veg out in the Magellan library, while others remained busy at work.

Sebastiaan, Maggie, and Katie enjoy the peace and quiet of the Magellan library.
Jared got very upset with the observatory for replacing the cereal in the break room with nuts.

By late afternoon, the optics were aligned and the DMs were cabled, allowing us to close the loop! Laird, in particular, was very excited.

Jared closing the loop at 2kHz with 2400 modes as Laird looks on.
Our first on-off AO loop video of the 2024 Aa run! Narration by Laird.
A happy instrument makes for a happy Laird.

With the AO loop closed and the majority of the day’s work completed, we had ample opportunities to enjoy the sunset amongst our furry friends at LCO.

Katie and Eden taking a sunset selfie.
Bizzy–a busy viscacha.
YACS (Yet Another Carlos Sighting).
A slice of pie because today is Pi Day (I wasn’t going to forget).
Closing out a productive day 2 at LCO.

Tomorrow, we begin our instrument calibrations. Stay tuned!

Song of the Day:

Letting the Cables Sleep by Bush