AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 103. Instrumentation, Simulation Databases and Astronomical Organizations
Oral, Thursday, June 3, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Waldorf

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[103.02] A New Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph for the Palomar 200-inch Telescope

T. W. Murphy, B. T. Soifer, K. Matthews, G. Neugebauer (Caltech)

A new near-infrared integral field spectrograph employing image slicer optics has been built and operated on the Palomar 200-inch Telescope. The Palomar Integral Field Spectrograph (PIFS) is best suited to kinematic studies of emission line gas in morphologically complex galaxies, such as ultraluminous infrared galaxies and high-redshift radio galaxies. The all-cryogenic spectrograph design acts as a front-end to either of two 256\times256 infrared array cameras, covering the 1--2.5\micron\ or 1--5\micron\ wavelength ranges. Standard machining techniques, including diamond fly-cutting of the image slicer optical surfaces, were used in the production of the all-aluminum image slicer, allowing for an inexpensive and rapid construction project. The 5.5''\times9.5'' field of view is split into eight slits, and feeds two independent spectrographs within the same dewar. Two resolution modes are available, as well as a broad-band imaging mode for photometry and target acquisition. Spectral resolutions offered are R\approx 1300 and R\approx 600. The PIFS was first used on the 200-inch Telescope in 1998 September. The performance was as predicted, with a total system throughput of 22%, enabling detection of a K=18 (0.04 mJy) continuum source at 5\sigma in one hour at the high resolution setting. Example data for ultraluminous infrared galaxies, showing velocity-resolved images of the Pa\alpha emission line, are presented. Primary funding for the PIFS was provided by the National Science Foundation.

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