Take a rare look inside a world-class planet finding instrument. In April, our team performed maintenance and upgrades to the Planet Finder Spectrograph, or PFS for short. PFS is an instrument that astronomers use at the Magellan Clay Telescope to find signatures of exoplanets in stellar spectra. The observations are critically dependant on precision, which relies on the stability of the instrument. The PFS team only opens the instrument every few years for maintenance and upgrades, making this an unusual event that we wanted to share.

ImagePasadena, CA—Astronomers have believed since the 1960s that a galaxy dubbed UGC 1382 was a relatively boring, small elliptical galaxy. Ellipticals are the most common type of galaxy and lack the spiral structure of disks like the Milky Way we call home. Now, using a series of multi-wavelength surveys, astronomers, including Carnegie’s Mark Seibert, Barry Madore and Jeff Rich, have discovered that it is really a colossal Giant Low Surface Brightness disk galaxy that rivals the champion of this elusive class—a galaxy known as Malin 1. Malin 1 is some 7 times the diameter of the Milky Way. The research is published in the Astrophysical Journal.