MagAO-X 2023A Day 9: Rise & Grind

Yesterday I arrived with Eden and one way to gauge how chaotic the journey to LCO was is the level of shin splints experienced the next day. That is to say, the trek was not without some hiccups. From semi-justified TSA traffic stops…

Your friendly Tucson TSA agents ensuring no rattlesnakes get through and onto the plane.

…to major flight delays. If anyone reading this has the clearance to retrieve security footage of ATL’s B Terminal you’d find two grad students running faster than a supercharged V8 and scattering many meandering airport families while doing so.

The language barrier was a bit higher than anticipated which caused a few more delays at SCL but nonetheless we made it! After a long rest we prepared to do the big move and install next.

He may be slow but oh lawd he comin’

The gory details might be left to future post but the first task of the day was to push MagAO-X onto the transport vehicle and drive it (slowly) up the hill from the clean room to the telescope platform.

Once it was at the telescope we made ample use of the many convenient tools integrated into the building to make our lives a lot easier.

The scariest part (for me) is always the crane operations, but everything went by without a hitch. After the table legs were placed under the floating MagAO-X it had to be lowered just right to ensure everything buttons up together nicely in the end.

One of the last steps before first light was the cabling procedures. Here we see our DM-cabling gurus hard at work.

The rest of the night didn’t offer many more photo opportunities and was honestly a bit of a blur (perhaps due to being awake for nearly 24 hours) but MagAO-X is being fed real stellar photons and it’s working great!

Well this “first light” post could have undoubtedly gone a bit deeper into the operations and science, except we’ve all been up since 7:30a and it’s well past 4:00a now with a few more hours to get through before we can call it quits. So we’re all very tired (except Warren apparently), so it’s time to sign off….

Song of the Day

As per the 2023A blog rules a song must be chosen for each day of the run. One stipulation is that you must recount who recommended the song to you. So today it’s “Tell Her About It” by Billy Joel. One realization that dawned on me today is that the compressor on the cool new kid on the block, XKID, pumps along to the tempo of this very song (or it’s dang close). So I guess you could say MagAO-X’s new friend XKID recommended this song to me. That counts, right?