Well, we are almost home… we made it to the Dallas airport. When we left in early November, the election had just concluded and I was still eating Halloween candy. Thanksgiving has come and gone. And now that we are back in the US, we are hit with the usual full-blown American Christmas with music, trees, and poinsettias overstimulating our tired traveling brains. We were trying to find the Admiral’s club in DFW and were talking very nerdily about MCMC algorithms to help us find it, and Laird said “I hope we don’t get trapped in a local minimum!” So here we are in a local minimum, and will be getting back to Tucson in a few hours. So let’s look at some highlights from the run.
Last quote of the run:
“Is it finally safe to say things around you two?” – Laird, to Jared and Katie.
We’re off the mountain! Laird, Katie, Jared and TJ finished putting MagAO to bed yesterday, and made the journey down to La Serena. We spent one night there, and with Laird’s folks took some time off to celebrate.
We have a long overnight flight to Dallas ahead of us, but we’re almost home.
Some quotes from the last couple of days:
“Can you guys stop talking?” – Katie (to Laird and Jared)
“I gotta admit, I like strawberry margaritas…yes, I want a margarita, but do you have strawberry? Damn. Ok, just give me the fruit.” – Laird
“We all have these subtle emotional IQs, and because we’re astronomers we’re all a little screwed up.” – Laird
“Laird is a bright boy.” – Jared, quoting Tibor, a friend of Laird’s dad and occasional MagAO fellow traveler.
“LCO is a great place, if you’re into guys, right Katie?” – Laird
“What are you doing in my room?!?! I’m El Presidante!” – Laird (the maids at Casino Enjoy can be . . . persistent)
“Between scotch and fruit cups there are many layers. And one of them is raspberry mojito.” – Katie
“It’s ok. I’m American.” – TJ, to a policewoman.
“Bear Down!” – random stranger, to TJ and his A jacket.
The last of the MagAO team left LCO today. So long and thanks for all the spatial resolution! Since we didn’t all overlap, here are the 3 group pictures we took that captured everyone who came on the commissioning run:
Hola, it’s Vizzy! I work hard to keep my fur fuzzed, so I was asked to do a special guest post on LCO style. MagAO has been immersed in the culture of LCO for a month, and they are a stylish bunch indeed. Here we go!
LCO is a pretty stylin’ place.
What with the jumpsuits,
clean room attire,
and steel-toe shoes…
MagAO worked at LCO in style.
LCO staff always inspire me to keep up my look:
Laird Close, the PI of MagAO, is a style leader as well.
Laird brought with him a plethora of Italians, Arizonans, and Californians to put together MagAO.
In conclusion, I will miss this stylish team when the last of them depart LCO tomorrow. Thanks for always taking flattering photos of me, guys! And see you in 2013A!
This is my least favorite part: packing everthing up, getting organized, finding all of our lost allen wrenches, and taking a zip-tie inventory.
The ASM came off the telescope yesterday, and rode down the hill first thing this morning.
The last major operation was to unbolt and crane the NAS off the telescope.
Once the NAS came off, we got a look at the W-Unit for the first time in a few weeks. Here’s our wollaston beamsplitter, which helped deliver some amazing SDI science at visible wavelengths.
Kate, who is using the VisAO SDI mode to study disks around young stars, had never actually seen the fully assembled instrument before. Here’s a picture of me and Kate after a quick tour of the components she’s been operating the last few nights.
We also cleaned up some of our, shall we say, less rigorous engineering solutions.
Laird’s folks happened to wander by today (why are you surprised? it’s not like we’re on a mountain top in a remote area of South America or anything). As is his wont, Laird put them to work settling the ASM into the clean room. I hear they helped flip it back to zenith. Perhaps even more appreciated was a chocalate fix for certain members of the team who didn’t plan very well.
Quote of the day:
“We should come up with something that looks less like garbage. I mean, it’s well decorated garbage. But.” – Povilas Polunas.