AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 10. The Hobby*Eberly Telescope
Display, Wednesday, January 6, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall 1

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[10.03] The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Low Resolution Spectrograph

G. J. Hill, P. J. MacQueen (McDonald Obs.), H. Nicklas (Uni-Sternwarte, Goettingen, Germany), F. J. Cobos D. (Instituto de Astronomia, UNAM, Mexico), C. Tejada de V. (IAUNAM), W. Mitsch (Uni-Sternwarte, Munich), M. J. Wolf (U. Texas)

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. Scientific operations are expected in the spring of 1999. The Low Resolution Spectrograph (LRS, an international collaboration between Texas, UNAM, Stanford, Munich and Goettingen) 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 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 a number of modes of operation: imaging, longslit, and multi-object. The field of view from the HET is 4-arcminutes in diameter, and the LRS will have a 13-slitlet Multi Object Spectroscopy (MOS) unit covering this field. The MOS unit is described in a separate paper. Resolutions between \lambda~/~{\delta \lambda} = 500 and 3000 with a 1-arcsec. 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 1024x3096 device with 15 micron pixels, and the image scale is approximately 0.25 arcsec. per pixel.

We will present a detailed description of the LRS, and provide an overview of the optical and mechanical aspects of its design. Fabrication and assembly of the LRS will be completed by the end of 1998. First light on the HET is expected shortly thereafter.

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