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Radial velocity spectrometers on the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory 1.2m and 0.4m telescopes

  • J. M. Fletcher (a1) and Robert D. McClure (a1)

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A photoelectric radial velocity spectrometer has been in operation for several years at the coudé focus of the 1.2m telescope of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO). The design of this instrument has been described by Fletcher et. al. (1982) and by McClure et al. (1984). These papers discuss the similarities and differences between this spectrometer and others of its type such as that constructed by Griffin and Gunn (1974) at Palomar. The spectrum mask in the present instrument consists of more than 700 transparent slots on an opaque background, representing the spectrum of a K giant star, plus a few slots to coincide with the argon lines in a cadmium-argon discharge tube for use in obtaining comparison arc velocities. By progressively tilting the slots an appropriate amount along the mask and scanning by moving the mask relative to the stellar spectrum at 45° to the dispersion it is possible to retain a spectral match at non-zero velocities. The masks are produced using a standard measuring engine modified with stepping motors controlled by a computer to position and tilt the slots. Since guiding errors are our major source of error we hope to make a significant improvement in this area in the following manner. By inserting an image rotating prism behind the slit a 180° rotation of the slit will occur when the prism is rotated. Although this has not yet been tested, it is hoped that by making this rotation every few scans the effects of guiding errors due to uneven illumination of the slit and collimator will be vastly reduced.

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Copyright

References

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Fletcher, J.M., Harris, H.C., McClure, R.D., and Scarfe, C.D., 1982, Publ. Astron. Soc. Pacific 94, 1017.
Griffin, R.F., and Gunn, J.E., 1974, Astrophys. J. 191, 545.
McClure, R.D., 1985, J. Roy. Astron. Soc. Canada, December issue.
McClure, R.D., Fletcher, J.M., Grundmann, W.A., and Richardson, E.H., 1985, in Stellar Radial Velocities, IAU Colloq. 88, eds. Philip, A.G.D. and Latham, D.W. (L. Davis Press, Schenectady), p 49.
Richardson, E.H., and Brealey, G.A., 1973, J. Roy. Astron. Soc. Canada 67, 165.

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