Comm2 Day 13: It’s an Arizona Mountain

Tonight both Clay and Baade belonged to astronomers from Steward Observatory. Bear down.

Over on the diffraction limited side, we had a great night. We observed some young low-mass companions to stars (later we can argue about labels like “brown dwarf” and “planet” – all I know for sure is that they were all bigger than Pluto). We can do this across a wide wavelength range, using Clio and VisAO simultaneously, letting us probe the atmospheres of these objects in a unique way. We’re all really excited about our results! Stay tuned.

Just after opening, the heart and soul of MagAO hangs in the sky.

We did one of Laird’s targets tonight. Here he’s monitoring the data as it comes off Clio.

The current MagAO team: Kate,TJ, Runa, Laird, Katie, Alfio, Vanessa, Jared.

Tonight was Vanessa’s last night. Safe travels, and go Bobcats.

Arizona’s Professor Nathan Smith (far right), who is observing on Baade, came across the catwalk for a chat.

When we opened we still had the VisAO wollaston in. But that’s not why Katie managed to get two Vizcacha’s on her camera. There are actually two of them!

Tonight’s sunset. No flash.

Some quotes from tonight:

“You know why we did it in z prime? Because we’re HOT in z prime.” — Laird (we’re learning to talk like optical astronomers)

“I THINK we are in closed loop” — Alfio (trust me, if he says that, we are)

“That was very heroic.” — Katie (after Alfio closed the loop with approximately 0 photons)

“Apart from the hardware bugs, it was only 3 buttons!” — Alfio

“You could make it say ‘T.J. is amazing’ and it would be the same thing” — T.J.

“If we hated you we wouldn’t make fun of you.” — Kate
“That’s what I keep telling myself.” — Laird

“They can’t handle the truth” –Alfio

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