Performance of the Hobby-Eberly telescope and facility instruments

Gary J. Hill, Phillip J. MacQueen, Lawrence W. Ramsey, Matthew D. Shetrone

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) is a revolutionary large telescope of 9.2 meter aperture, located in West Texas at McDonald Observatory. The HET operates with a fixed segmented primary and has a tracker which moves the four-mirror corrector and prime focus instrument package to track the sidereal and non-sidereal motions of objects. The HET has been taking science data for five years, but the image quality and primary mirror stability have been far from specifications. Work over the past two years has improved performance significantly, and demonstrated site-seeing limited images of 0.8 arcsec., showing that the telescope will meet all specifications. The performance of the HET is discussed in detail. The first phase of HET instrumentation includes three facility instruments: the Low Resolution Spectrograph (LRS), the Medium Resolution Spectrograph (MRS), and High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS). The current status of the instruments is described. Upcoming near infrared capabilities for the LRS and MRS are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-107
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberPART 1
StatePublished - 2004
EventGround-based Instrumentation for Astronomy - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 21 2004Jun 25 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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