As Joseph reported yesterday, we couldn’t find any sign of our viscacha friends and we suspected it was due to the high winds and colder temperatures. Today I was able to gather more evidence. A correlation is seen between the local density of viscachas and the wind speed at their location. The following plot illustrates:
We establish a working threshold of 20 mph for vischacha absence. The nature of this transition is unknown.
It wasn’t all science today. We also fixed some calibration issues with our new setup in the LCO cleanroom. This took some remote help from our real-time software guru.
MagAO-Classic has landed in TUS. This is the last MagAO-C 2019B post.
And I am currently surrounded by cats, who are much better snugglers than vizcachas.
Spot the vizcacha.
On the day we left I checked that everything was safely stowed.
Amali said goodbye to her rock garden.
We headed down the hill at 8:30am Chile time and got home to Tucson around 11am MST for a total of about 31 hours travel time.
The flowers were blooming at El Pino and the new dorms for our mid-day rest were really very lovely and extremely comfortable:
We saw Tyson in LSC and heard he had a nice stay at Hotel Enjoy. He was on the same SCL-DFW flight and was nice enough to get me into the club in SCL and Laird in DFW. It was nice seeing you Tyson, hope you made it home safely too!
Overall this was a good run, I think Emily did a great job learning MagAO and Amali did great working with her and refreshing her memory on the LBTI compare/contrast differences.
The song of the day: Taylor Swift’s Perfect Fight Song by Andy Wu Musicland featuring Pink, Ellie Goulding, and Rachel Platten:
This was, incredibly, a zero-viscacha day. It was quite windy, a bit chilly, and there may have been a viscacha conference (¿visconferencia?) in the next valley over.
Meanwhile, in MagAO-X land, we continue pushing buttons on our computers and watching what happens. I promised a peek at the MagAO-X web interface, so here’s part of it… that no visiting observer will ever see!
While most of the web-based interface will be designed for the needs of guest observers, this screen is definitely an “authorized personnel only” deal. With it, you can remotely power on or off anything in the instrument! I was authorized by Jared to toggle the acquisition flip motor power on and off during testing.
While it was a zero-viscacha day, it was also a one-snake day! Jared encountered a juvenile Philodryas chamissonis on his run. This species is known locally as la culebra de cola larga. In a juvenile spirit, I feel I should share that this could be translated as either “long-tailed snake” or “long-butted snake”.
Following Emily’s theme of Firsts, and because I’m very unlikely to have the chance to attach this song to the actual first light post: “First Light” by Balmorhea.
If we got a Chilean peso for every time that phrase was used this run we could build a new ASM. From network ghosts and hardware bamboozle-ments to empty Chilean airports and Katie’s missing sandwich, we encountered a lot of new scenarios. The most troubling and only one unresolved – Katie’s missing sandwich. Last seen in the main kitchen around 2300 last night, could it be a sneaky vizzy or a stolen late night snack. The world may never know.
Our driver from LCO was ready at 830 am sharp. It was hard say goodbye to LCO and our MagAO-X comrades who stayed behind (Jared and Joesph), but we will soon be reunited in Tucson. Our drive down the mountain was complete with burros, goats and even an owl. Our driver pointed the little one out to us – it was totally un-phased by the van!
First we headed to El Pino, the LCO La Serena offices. In town we encountered traffic lights and signs that were missing, presumably due to the riots and protests. Graffiti, broken windows, and destroyed gas stations were seen throughout the city, but we did not encounter any issues. In fact driving without operational traffic lights was rather calm. We were each given a room to get a nap and a shower before headed to La Serena airport for LAN 303 at 1541. By tradition, after checking our bags we waited for our plane with some salty papas fritas in the restaurant upstairs, after two weeks of healthy meals we were craving some junk food. Most of us had leftover night (day?!) lunches in our backpacks as well.
Security and the famed PDI slip exchange went smoothly at both La Serena and Santiago, where we are currently waiting for our all nighter flight to DFW to board. Here’s Amali boarding at the hardstand for our La Serena to Santiago flight.
It’s almost time to board our 787, I’ll miss Chile and LCO, in just one visit I feel I’ve found a new home.
Keeping with the classic rule and the “that’s never happened before” theme here’s: Foreigner – Feels Like The First Time.