MagAO-X 2024Aa Day 8: Pigs in a Duvet

Well, that went fast. Maggie and I are the first team members of the run to embark on the long journey down the mountain and trade the Atacama back for the Sonoran desert. But, before then, we had one last night to make the most of our time here at LCO.

After some daytime calibrations (and some very interesting hot dog-based pastries at dinner), we headed up the mountain for a full night of observing. Per tradition, we officially kicked things off with a sunset photo:

Do not ask where Eden's left hand went.
Isn’t Clay just so pretty?
Don't worry, her left hand is intact in this photo
Clouds? in MY Atacama Desert? It’s more likely than you think.

Now, don’t get me wrong: the clouds put on a gorgeous show for sunset, but they are not generally harbingers of good astronomy. Nevertheless, we were determined to get as much good science done as we possibly could, and we were pleasantly surprised; clouds passed, and we saw seeing hold steady below 0.5 (and even dip below 0.4) arcseconds for a good portion of the second half of the night.

Maggie, Laird, and Sebastiaan started things off with our dear friend the HDFS, performing some of the first phasing tests on-sky:

Unfortunately, the timing worked out so that Maggie and I will be coming down the mountain at the same time that Logan comes up, so we won’t get the chance to have the whole team here at the same time. Tonight Logan joined via Zoom to observe some of her targets, with a white dwarf companion making a very exciting appearance:

As the night went on, Laird and Jialin got their turn to conduct cutting-edge science in the control room. What was going on in the “kids room” downstairs, you might ask? Only the most important of shenanigans:

This much science is exhausting for anyone, especially the PI of the project. Unfortunately for Jared, MaggieO-X saw the opportunity to usurp and seized it:

You heard her. She’s the PI now.

I’m about to follow the PI’s example and try and catch some sleep before Maggie and I head down. But, before I go, I’d like to share a bit of personal news in honor of my last night at LCO:

Soon my excuse of "but I'm just an undergrad" will be a distant memory

And to go with it, the song of the day:

Graduate – Third Eye Blind