Alignment alignment alignment!

Okaayyy!!!  Allora.  The day began with some avocado slices, dos scrambled huevos, a bowl of oatmeal, two slices of cheese, two slices of breakfast cake, two glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice (delicious!), and a cafe con leche.  The food at LCO is very good and below are more pictures, for our respective mothers:

Some sort of meat and potato thing, asparagus, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, beets, and a glass of peach juice

Chicken with yellow rice, salad with beets, bowl of fresh fruit with strawberry ice cream, and a glass of peach juice. Eat your heart out LBT!

Meat empanada, marisco soup, bowl of fruit, and a glass of juice. Mmmm....

After breakfast, a view of the marine layer in the valley to the north awaited us at the telescope:

We arrived to an email from the crew from the previous night led by Laird and Povilas that told us they had managed to collimate the telescope to the seeing limit using the Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor: a 0.55-0.6″ image on a >0.5″ night.  They then created a lookup/flexure table.

A 0.6 arcsec image taken with our wide-field guider probe after collimating the telescope

A guanaco by the side of the road

With that good news, the morning crew proceeded to the next step of mounting the Calibration Return Optic (CRO, now pronounced “crow”).  The CRO is a retroreflecting parabola/return flat optic that is aligned to the near ellipsoidal conjugate of the adaptive secondary.  Because Magellan’s Gregorian design uses a concave secondary, we can use the CRO to test the secondary off sky with a point source located at the Nasmyth focal plane.  We can also use the CRO to run the entire AO system closed loop with an artificial source during the day.  The CRO is in a small cup that mounts to a 5 axis remotely actuated piezo stage, which in turn mounts to its own truss structure.  This truss structure was assembled and aligned during the tower tests in Italy in order to locate the CRO at the ASM conjugate to a mm or so (hopefully better).  The truss is carefully passed through the secondary cage and bolted directly in front of the ASM.

Attempting to write warning labels in Spanish

Carefully installing the CRO to the magnetic kinematic interface on the truss

Checking the CRO alignment with the boresight gun laser. It's good!

A magnified image of the CRO looking through the cage at the secondary

Pato running some CRO cables along the structure

Jared and Pato high up in the scissor lift to run the CRO cables along the spider vanes.

Armando putting a fiducial on the primary-facing side of the CRO truss, along the optical axis

Armando setting up the crosshair fiducial at the Nasmyth focal plane. This fiducial allows us to align the optical axis of the secondary to the rotational axis of the Nasmyth rotator.

Armando, Marco, and Jared going through the alignment procedure

Looks pretty aligned to me!

Overhead at LCO today:

“Seven.” -Derek to Marco after counting the number of spoonfuls of sugar the PI added to his tea.

“I always lose count because he’s talking while he’s doing it.” -Armando, regarding the PI adding sugar to his tea.

“Derek, you seem a bit tired, perhaps you need some more sugar in your tea.”  -Marco

“I would like a siesta, a wonderful Spanish invention.” -Alfio

“It’s temporary, but it may become permanent.”  -Pato Jones.  Was he talking about something in particular or MagAO in general?

Some lovely pictures of the telescopes opening last night at dusk:

Baade on the left, Clay on the right

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