Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SWIFT Arrives

It is always a good day when a new instrument arrives at the observatory. Today a big truck pulled up with boxes from England containing the new SWIFT instrument. Built at Oxford, SWIFT is an integral field spectrograph that will work with our current adaptive optics system and its successor, PALM-3000.

What do you do with an integral field spectrograph that is hooked up to an adaptive optics system? Study cool stuff like supermassive black holes at the cores of nearby galaxies, and the dynamics of galaxy clusters at great distances. It will be a while before the SWIFT team arrives and unpacks the instrument and not until next month before it gets time on the 200".

Stay tuned.

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