Johanna Teske in front of Magellan telescope.

Johanna Teske was awarded the third Postdoctoral Innovation and Excellence (PIE) Award, which is made through nominations from the department directors and chosen by the Office of the President. She is the first Carnegie Origins Postdoctoral Fellow, the first fellowship in the history of Carnegie Science that straddles two departments, the Observatories and the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. In just two years, Teske’s efforts to help find and characterize exoplanets, particularly those that might be Earth-like, has generated multiple publications in prestigious journals such as The Astrophysical Journal.

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.