Home > Astronomy, Exoplanets, General Astronomy > Las Cumbres Observatory Achieves First Light With NRES Spectrograph

Las Cumbres Observatory Achieves First Light With NRES Spectrograph

Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT), a private, nonprofit scientific institution conducting time domain astrophysics and education, and a provider of global telescope resources, achieved first light with their prototype Network of Robotic Echelle Spectrograph (NRES) this week. The event took place earlier in the week at LCOGT’s Byrne Observatory located at the UC Santa Barbara Sedgwick Reserve.

Primarily designed to support the study of exoplanets, the NRES prototype represents over two years of concentrated science and engineering work by Las Cumbres Observatory. Tim Brown, LCOGT Science Director, has overseen the design and funding of the project, while mechanical engineer John Hygelund and astronomy postdoc Jason Eastman have built and tested, and then installed the device.

According to Eastman, “We adopted an optical design that is both simple and conventional in its general approach, similar in concept to spectrographs designed for the Palomar East Arm Echelle, the Lick Automated Planet Finder, and others.” The in-house design enabled Las Cumbres to optimize the spectrograph for a small production run and robotic use. This, because the biggest difference with the NRES will be that there will be six of them, deployed at six geographically distributed sites around the world, and integrated through a global telescope scheduling and control system.

Full Story: http://lcogt.net/press-release/las-cumbres-observatory-achieves-first-light-nres-spectrograph

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