LBT run – Day 4

Here’s a beautiful image of sky, only it usually wouldn’t be beautiful for an astronomer

A beautiful but cloudy sunset at the LBT

A beautiful but cloudy sunset at the LBT


AO loop closed. Nice round PSF :).

One would usually look at this view and try and figure out what research to do (i.e which movie on Netflix to watch :P). But I have been amazed with how robust the AO system has been, we’ve been regularly closing the loop in >3 arcsec seeing. And tonight we have closed the loop on a very bright star even in these conditions!!!

LBT run

Thought I’d have a bit of a picture blog entry. I was offered the opportunity to assist in observations with LMIRCAM which is a mid-IR camera on the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). Ends up, I was given the shift from the 25th to the 31st, days when none of the others wanted to be stuck observing. So here I am preparing to go observing only to get a cold the day before. But!!! I decided that neither a nascent cold, nor 3 ft of snow would keep me from fulfilling my observing duties and so without further ado, here are some pictures from Mt. Graham.

I actually regret not stopping to take pictures on the drive up the mountain. There was a fair bit of snow, and at one point the 4WD (monster truck!) got stuck in the snow/ice. I called for help, only to then spend 10 minutes backing to and fro to dislodge said truck. I wasn’t particularly happy about this procedure, since this game was being played at ~9000 ft and there was a bit of a drop on one side (mainly when going forward) and by this point the truck was not parallel but rather perpendicular to the road (wish I had thought of taking a photo). As the pictures show, there was a wonderful Christmas dinner awaiting me when I arrived and the first night went off fairly smoothly.

I am now on day 2 of 7, lets hope the weather stays clear and that we continue to get good data :).