Two days left on the mountain, and two people left from our group. This morning Laird, Amali, Emily, and Katie headed back to Arizona. That means that it’s just me and Jared here from the XWCL. I have another full day, while Jared remains until Wednesday—with only the video chats of Olivier Guyon (international astronomical man of mystery) for company.
We have returned from the “day and night” schedule to a more standard day schedule, which meant we were at breakfast to see them off this morning.
Today, I finished some network configuration and handbook updates; held hoses and ladders while Jared did some real work; and (mostly) worked on the MagAO-X “friendly” GUI. It’s still in need of formatting polish, so I’ll show you a screenshot some other time. Instead, behold the Desk of Penance.
Among the things I held under Jared’s direction: a funnel and hose assembly for glycol dilution. Fancy astronomy instruments generate a lot of heat, and all their major components need liquid cooling (like a l33t g4ming r1g). Our cooling pump was not pushing coolant through as quickly as it should, and Povilas Palunas (Telescope Scientist here at LCO) suggested we might be viscosity (viscachity?) limited.
So, we replaced about 5 liters of glycol solution with distilled water, and now all our fancy components are happy again.
Aside from that, no excitement to report. Which, compared to yesterday, is definitely a good thing.
In compliance with Blog Rules 2019B-X, I present a foxy tune by Courtney Barnett: “Dead Fox” off of her 2015 album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.
Last night went great. Now today MagAO-Classic has been removed from Clay to the Aux and the clean room. Night schedules are switching to day schedules. It was a 3-viscacha day at the clean room and many NSF proposals have been worked on, and SPIE abstracts have been drafted and submitted to the extend possible.
Now it’s time for more proposaling and some packing too, so I leave you with the MagAO-Classic song of the day: Ylvis – The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)
Friends, this was supposed to be a celebratory blog post.
My web-based interface to MagAO-X is getting to the stage where it’s actually useful. My suitcase finally arrived from airline purgatory. I finished my SPIE 2020 abstract. I found out how to make the soda machine dispense plain fizzy water (my one non-caffeinated vice).
However, fate had other plans for this author.
One of the reasons for constant comings and goings of MagAO-C and MagAO-X personnel here at LCO is that the P.I. foresaw the need for periodic supply missions from Tucson, as the unpacking process gradually revealed what we’d forgotten to stuff in the shipping containers back in October. (Alas, that he could have foreseen what would befall poor Megadesk!)
Among my items to hand-carry was a monitor mounting plate from the exquisite quadruple monitor stand in our lab in Arizona to stand in for a missing part in the corresponding quadruple monitor stand in Chile.
Of course, LATAM and American conspired to lose the suitcase containing this, replacement clean-room booties, 3/8″ plastic tubing, Fruit Snacks for Kyle, MagAO-X hats and stickers, and all of my clothes.
(I set out from Tucson on Saturday, and by the time the suitcase caught up to me Wednesday afternoon I was likely offending staff and scientist alike with my single pair of jeans that were last considered clean five whole days ago.)
Naturally, as soon as the bag arrived, I gathered up all the MagAO-X special deliveries and ferried them to the clean room. A viscacha was perched above the loading dock—normally an auspicious sign.
In this case, however, it proved a dark portent—as I shall explain shortly.
This was also the end of the MagAO run, meaning it was time to remove from the telescope Clio2, VisAO, the MagAO Nasmyth unit, and the crown jewel—the MagAO adaptive secondary. Both extremely heavy and extremely delicate, its removal is a multi-person job involving many observatory personnel under the watchful direction of MagAO P.I. Laird Close. If you are concerned about the aforementioned omens, fear not—MagAO’s removal was a complete success! As I’ve blogged (and assisted) with this before, I’ll confine my comments to what’s new this time.
This afternoon was a first for MagAO-X and MagAO-C: two generations of Magellan adaptive optics systems (and their P.I.s) in the same cleanroom!
But let us return to my shame, my downfall, the tragic demise of Megadesk-LCO. I slotted in the new brackets and attempted to affix all four monitors to the stand. The last one proved unable to fit, requiring some adjustment to the height of the arm that supports the three monitors arrayed horizontally.
The following conversation took place, somewhat portentously.
Me: “And this monitor stand—it’s not clamped to the desk, or anything?”
Jared: “No, it’s pretty stable with just the base plate.”
Me: “Wow, I need one for myself”
Jared: “Here’s the instruction manual. You finish up here; I have to go upstairs and finish a proposal.”
About five minutes later, the monitor mount was on the floor. You see, I made a classic blunder: forgetting about simple machines. When I removed the first monitor and turned to set it down somewhere safe, I didn’t consider the lever action of the horizontal mounting bar. With the mount in a partially disassembled state, its center of gravity went sideways… and so did it, slowly at first and then all at once.
There was one casualty, a 4K monitor in the lower right position that landed “buttered-side down”. Your author, appropriately mortified, informed the P.I.
Penance was assigned.
Anyway, we now have 0.75 of Megadesk. And an order for a new monitor.
To not end on a totally negative note, here’s a panorama I took on the road to the Magellans that would be ideally suited for a desktop background with the new three-up monitor arrangement.
The blog rules state today’s Song Of The Day must relate in some way to the last MagAO-C post’s song of the day (which was “Gangnam Style” by Psy).
They do not state the connection must be obvious.
Here’s “Essentially” by Japanese Breakfast (and no, I don’t think Psy is Japanese!)
Tonight was our last night on-sky with MagAO-Classic in 2019B. It was my telescope night, and Amali ran AO after Emily went to bed around midnight. Tomorrow’s the big day for removing MagAO-C from the telescope, so we always do these staggered bedtimes. It’s nice to have Amali and Emily here to help with removal.
Alberto stayed an extra night with the rest of his turno, so this is the first time we’ve had him as our TO for the entire run. Thanks Alberto, you are a superlative telescope operator! Here are Alberto, Amali, and myself enjoying a quiet night of photon-gathering.
Well I forgot to take many pictures today, and I forgot to motivate someone else to write the blog.
We got lots of work done today. Laird and Alex tested the alignment laser system. Kyle perfected a big part of our offloading system (where we send commands to the telescope from when our AO system needs help), and I got some closed-loop testing done. We also all worked on some conference abstracts that are due, and NSF proposals got some attention too.