The MagAO team has made it to Tucson in time for Thanksgiving! And the Gemini Planet Imager team travels seem to be going well too — We ran into Jenny Patience, Julien Rameau, and Ben Gerard of GPIES at the La Serena airport, who were just coming off a 6-night GPI run. Our La Serena-Santiago flight on LAN was delayed by about an hour and a half, but Jenny made her on-time SKY flight, and Julien was staying an extra night in Santiago. Laird, Jared, Ben, and I met up with about 3 others who were all headed to the Santiago-Dallas flight, which at that point was a very tight connection. LAN staff met us as we deplaned in Santiago and had us all wait until we were all together — they they escorted us through the airport. We thought they would escort us to the front of the security line or something — but they just deposited us at the back of the line, saving us no time, and having made the people who got off the plane first wait for those of us who got off the plane last. Jared, Laird, and I barely made the Dallas flight, but LAN didn’t actually have the plane wait for us or do anything to help speed us through the airport. Update: Ben made it on the LAX flight, good! Well, I’m writing this post with the benefit of airport wi-fi which works better than the wi-fi in Jared’s room, so I can include lots of pictures and a more melodious song of the day as we say goodbye to LCO for 2016:
Quote of the day:
“I’m afraid this is the beginning of a very dark time for us all.” –Laird, panicking that we might miss our flight the day before Thanksgiving.
Song of the day (a bit more melodic than Jared’s pick yesterday:)
We went from 2000 Hz to 0 in 1 day: The ASM, the NAS, and Clio all came off the telescope today. That was it; then it was bedtime. Thanks to the technical crew for their hard work getting the Clay switched over in 1 day, and to the humanitarian crew for the delicious dinner and clean bedrooms that awaited us!!
Today was a bit rough, with high winds and heavy cloud cover. But… through the clouds… a beacon of light. Specifically a kick-a** high resolution AO-corrected PSF without the ever-present wind butterfly because… [drumroll] the MagAO adaptive secondary mirror is now officially deforming to correct for the atmosphere at 2000 times per second, twice as fast as before.
Check out the images below, which clearly show the improvement from running at 1kHz (left) to running at 2kHz (right). Despite poorer conditions, the 0.9 micron MagAO 2K image has a Strehl ratio of 50%!
Congratulations to everyone, but especially Jared, who is already moving on to thinking about the next big exciting MagAO upgrade now that this one is a success.
And in honor of Alfio leaving tonight … one of the few Italian songs that I know, and one that seems appropriate in light of his AO prowess… L’ombra del Gigante (the Shadow of the Giant).