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Proceedings Paper

Design drivers for a wide-field multi-object spectrograph for the William Herschel Telescope
Author(s): Marc Balcells; Chris R. Benn; David Carter; Gavin B. Dalton; Scott C. Trager; Sofia Feltzing; Mark A. W. Verheijen; Matt Jarvis; Will Percival; Don C. Abrams; Tibor Agocs; Anthony G. A. Brown; Diego Cano; Chris Evans; Amina Helmi; Ian J. Lewis; Ross McLure; Reynier F. Peletier; Ismael Pérez-Fournon; Ray M. Sharples; Ian A. J. Tosh; Ignacio Trujillo; Nic Walton; Kyle B. Westhall
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Paper Abstract

Wide-field multi-object spectroscopy is a high priority for European astronomy over the next decade. Most 8-10m telescopes have a small field of view, making 4-m class telescopes a particularly attractive option for wide-field instruments. We present a science case and design drivers for a wide-field multi-object spectrograph (MOS) with integral field units for the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope (WHT) on La Palma. The instrument intends to take advantage of a future prime-focus corrector and atmospheric-dispersion corrector (Agocs et al, this conf.) that will deliver a field of view 2 deg in diameter, with good throughput from 370 to 1,000 nm. The science programs cluster into three groups needing three different resolving powers R: (1) high-precision radial-velocities for Gaia-related Milky Way dynamics, cosmological redshift surveys, and galaxy evolution studies (R = 5,000), (2) galaxy disk velocity dispersions (R = 10,000) and (3) high-precision stellar element abundances for Milky Way archaeology (R = 20,000). The multiplex requirements of the different science cases range from a few hundred to a few thousand, and a range of fibre-positioner technologies are considered. Several options for the spectrograph are discussed, building in part on published design studies for E-ELT spectrographs. Indeed, a WHT MOS will not only efficiently deliver data for exploitation of important imaging surveys planned for the coming decade, but will also serve as a test-bed to optimize the design of MOS instruments for the future E-ELT.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2010
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77357G (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856947
Show Author Affiliations
Marc Balcells, Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (Spain)
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Chris R. Benn, Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (Spain)
David Carter, Liverpool John Moores Univ. (United Kingdom)
Gavin B. Dalton, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Rutherford-Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Scott C. Trager, Univ. of Groningen (Netherlands)
Sofia Feltzing, Lund Observatory (Sweden)
Mark A. W. Verheijen, Univ. of Groningen (Netherlands)
Matt Jarvis, Univ. of Hertfordshire (United Kingdom)
Will Percival, Univ. of Portsmouth (United Kingdom)
Don C. Abrams, Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (Spain)
Tibor Agocs, Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (Spain)
Anthony G. A. Brown, Leiden Observatory, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)
Diego Cano, Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (Spain)
Chris Evans, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., The Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Amina Helmi, Univ. of Groningen (Netherlands)
Ian J. Lewis, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Ross McLure, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., The Royal Observatory Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Reynier F. Peletier, Univ. of Groningen (Netherlands)
Ismael Pérez-Fournon, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Ray M. Sharples, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
Ian A. J. Tosh, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Ignacio Trujillo, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain)
Nic Walton, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Kyle B. Westhall, Univ. of Groningen (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7735:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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