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Proceedings Paper

Hobby-Eberly Telescope low-resolution spectrograph
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Paper Abstract

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is a revolutionary large telescope of 9.2 meter aperture, located in West Texas at McDonald Observatory. First light was obtained on December 11, 1996. The start of scientific operations is expected in the late summer of 1998. The Low Resolution Spectrograph [LRS, an international collaboration between the University of Texas at Austin (UT), the Instituto de Astronomia de la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (IAUNAM), Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitat, Munich (USM), and Georg- August-Universitat, Gottingen (USG)] is a high throughput, imaging spectrograph which rides on the HET tracker at prime focus. The LRS will be the first HET facility instrument. The remote location and the tight space and weight constraints make the LRS a challenging instrument, built on a limited budget. The optics were partially constructed in Mexico at IAUNAM, the mechanics in Germany, and the camera and CCD system in Texas. The LRS is a grism spectrograph with three modes of operation: imaging, longslit, and multi-object. The field of view of the HET is 4 arcmin in diameter, and the LRS will have a 13-slitlet Multi Object Spectroscopy (MOS) unit covering this field. The MOS unit is based on miniature components and is remotely configurable under computer control. Resolving powers between R equals (lambda) /(Delta) (lambda) approximately 600 and 3000 with a 1 arcsecond wide slit will be achieved with a variety of grisms, of which two can be carried by the instrument at any one time. The CCD is a Ford Aerospace 3072 X 1024 device with 15 micrometer pixels, and the image scale is approximately 0.25 arcsec per pixel. Here we present a detailed description of the LRS, and provide an overview of the optical and mechanical aspects of its design (which are discussed in detail elsewhere in these proceedings). Fabrication, assembly, and testing of the LRS will be completed by mid 1998. First light for the LRS on the HET is expected in the summer of 1998.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 1998
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3355, Optical Astronomical Instrumentation, (9 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.316773
Show Author Affiliations
Gary J. Hill, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Harald E. Nicklas, Univ.-Sternwarte/Georg-August-Univ. Goettingen (Germany)
Phillip J. MacQueen, McDonald Observatory/Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Carlos Tejada, Univ. Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico)
Francisco J. Cobos Duenas, Univ. Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico)
Wolfgang Mitsch, Univ.-Sternwarte/Ludwig-Maximilians-Univ. Muenchen (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3355:
Optical Astronomical Instrumentation
Sandro D'Odorico, Editor(s)

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