MAPS posts

  • MAPS/MIRAC Mar. 2024A Night 2: Tunisian crochet

    2024-03-21

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS/MIRAC Mar. 2024A Night 2: Tunisian crochet
    Tonight started cloudy and even with a little precipitation! (Which we just can’t bring ourselves to actually complain about, being children of the drought-stricket desert southwest.) Image description: A closed telescope dome in front of thick clouds on a rocky mountain peak, with snow amongst the rocks and fluffy-looking pine trees in the foreground. Image decription: Same ...
  • MAPS/MIRAC Mar. 2024A Night 1: Optical alignment

    2024-03-20

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS/MIRAC Mar. 2024A Night 1: Optical alignment
    While the MagAO-X run is going on in Chile, your friendly neighborhood MAPS/MIRAC team has just summited Mt. Hopkins to run CACAO and take data on this side of the planet. We spent a lot of time trying to align our pupil planes and focal planes and WFS and science camera. TopBox GUIs with ZWO pupil ...
  • MAPS/MIRAC Jan. 2024 (2023B) Night 3: Lynx refuge

    2024-01-21

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS/MIRAC Jan. 2024 (2023B) Night 3: Lynx refuge
    Tonight we sought refuge from the snow at the Ridge and then in Tucson. Here’s what we woke up to: Photo by Bianca. Image description: Telescopes at the ridge in heavy fog. Staying cozy in the ridge. Photo by Bianca. Image description: A view from inside of a window bay, a bit of a comfy recliner, and a ...
  • MAPS/MIRAC Jan. 2024 (2023B) Night 2: Snow torbie

    2024-01-21

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS/MIRAC Jan. 2024 (2023B) Night 2: Snow torbie
    Weather tonight We didn’t open tonight due to thick clouds. The MIRAC team took a lot of darks and dome “skies” to assess their QE and background noise. It started snowing around 2am and we left the dome ...
  • MAPS/MIRAC Jan. 2024 (2023B) Night 1: Coati alignment

    2024-01-20

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS/MIRAC Jan. 2024 (2023B) Night 1: Coati alignment
    It’s a MAPS/MIRAC run! The semester is still 2023B but the year is 2024 and we are back commissioning again, this time the 10 micron Geosnap-enabled instrument MIRAC. Tonight we spent a lot of time on alignment, as we have changed pretty much everything post-telescope, from the dichroic to the detector placement! Pointing and centering ...
  • MAPS Oct. 2023B Night 4: That’s a wrap

    2023-10-27

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS Oct. 2023B Night 4: That's a wrap
    Tonight we had great weather: low winds, moderate humidity, good seeing (0.6”–0.8”), and spent the whole night from civil dusk to civil dawn on bright stars near zenith! We stuck with the IR WFS and did calibrations and noise measurements all night long. For example, here is a Hadamard Matrix measurement using CACAO to look ...
  • MAPS Oct. 2023B Night 3: 5 for 5

    2023-10-26

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS Oct. 2023B Night 3: 5 for 5
    Tonight felt a lot like whiplash, from tired to energized to tired to energized, from starry to humidity to starry, and from failure to fix to failure to fix! First of all the MAPS daytime/nighttime/whenevertime support crew (Oli, Grant, Dan) drove up this afternoon with the repaired (by Ken) bias board for the CCID-75 LittleJoe controller, ...
  • MAPS Oct. 2023B Night 2: Water falling from the sky!!!

    2023-10-25

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS Oct. 2023B Night 2: Water falling from the sky!!!
    As a current resident of Arizona and a former resident of New Mexico, part of me must celebrate when water falls from the sky in these drought-stricken drylands or deserts. As an astroengineer and astrophysicist, it does make observing …difficult. Either way, it’s still beautiful: Afternoon at The Ridge. [Image description: A mountain scene straight outta ...
  • MAPS Oct. 2023B Night 1: 0 for 5

    2023-10-24

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS Oct. 2023B Night 1: 0 for 5
    What’s this, another MAPS run? Yup, the moon is almost full, and here we are again! Unfortunately tonight we are 0 for 5 on AO engineering/commissioning productivity. Here are the 5 things: Can we safely open the dome? No, the humidity is so high that condensation could ruin all the sensitive equipment. Can we safely expose the ASM ...
  • MAPS Sep. 2023B Night 5: Wrapping up our first run of 2023B

    2023-10-03

    Katie Morzinski

    MAPS Sep. 2023B Night 5: Wrapping up our first run of 2023B
    The full moon is waning and that’s a wrap on the first MAPS run of 2023B! We have 3 more runs, on the full moons in October, November, and January. On this run we successfully closed the loop with our new software algorithms, which required taking new timing data and calibrations. We also got offloading within ...