GPI First light: That someday… is Monday night.

For the last, oh, ten years or so I’ve been working on building a camera to take pictures of planets around distant stars, been lucky enough to be part of a team of the best damn astronomers I’m privileged to know and call my colleagues and my friends. It doesn’t overstate the matter to say this one project has probably been the single largest element of my entire career as a scientist.  As we prepare to point that instrument to the sky for the first time this coming week, it’s kind of mind blowing to look back on that past decade of efforts, hopes, and dreams. How on earth did I get here?

Jamie Lloyd (left) and Marshall Perrin (right) working on NIRCAL camera, an instrument for the Lick AO system.
Jamie Lloyd (left) and Marshall Perrin (right) working on NIRCAL camera, an instrument for the Lick AO system (year 2003).