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 with non-linear tri-axial mounts on a cold night in the dome made us really appreciate the bright wintry touches:

A beautifully decorated fir tree [image description: pine tree with Christmas ornaments].
Image description: The MMT atop a snowy peak.
Image descriptoin: Sunset through the pines.

Here are some neat alignment tricks: And don’t forget the pupil imager lens!

A target on periscope fold mirror 1. [Image description: A bullseye on paper, held over a glass, as viewed through a digital camera.]
Pyramid pupils with a bullseye. [Image description: 4 round images with the same bullseye as in the previous picture, off center and zoomed in, as viewed through a different digital camera.]

After alignment, we got some closed loop calibrations and have also been training new AO operators!

Blog Rules for the Jan. 2024 (2023B) Run:

  1. There must be a post per night.
  2. There must be an animal of the day/night.

Today’s animal of the day is a coatimundi or coati

5 of us saw this one as we caravanned up the MMT access road around 4pm near the basecamp: