I’m gearing up for my first visit to Las Campanas Observatory where I’ll get to learn how to use Magellan AO, a specialized adaptive optics instrument on one of the Magellan telescopes. I’ve been a long time fan of MagAO, following the various cool results the team has put out as they’ve commissioned the instrument. For this run, I’ll be conducting observations on behalf of my research group Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems at University of Michigan, using the infrared imager on MagAO. The infrared capabilities of MagAO are matched by few other facilities around the world; these are very challenging observations to make from the ground because everything (telescope, sky, etc) is so warm — good for humans, bad for infrared astronomy. I have also been impressed by the visible light imager performance and capabilities and I hope I’ll have the chance to use both soon for my own research projects.
So off I go, through Houston and Santiago to eventually land in La Serena Chile for the night before heading up to the observatory the next morning. I’m looking forward to meeting all the LCO staff and talking with the MagAO team members who will be running operating the AO.
I’m also excited for empanadas.