Planet Finder Spectrograph
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PFS The Carnegie Planet Finder Spectrograph (PFS) is hard at work searching for extrasolar planets with the the 6.5 meter Magellan II Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. It detects exoplanets through their gravitational influence on their host stars, which cause Doppler shifts in the stellar spectra that can be measured to give the stellar velocities to a precision better than 1 meter per second. As the planets orbit their hosts, the measured stellar velocities vary periodically, revealing the planetary presence and information about their masses and orbits.

PFS is a high resolution, optical echelle spectrograph that covers wavelengths from 388 to 668 nm with resolving powers from 38,000 to 190,000. The high efficiency optical design includes all spherical, standard optical glass and calcium fluoride lenses that function as both camera and collimator in a double-pass configuration that allows the R4 grating to be illuminated in a near-Littrow configuration. A prism is used for cross-dispersion. A molecular iodine absorption cell is used to superimpose well-defined absorption features onto the stellar spectra to aid with point spread function deconvolution and wavelength calibration. PFS has been in scientific operation since 1 January 2010.

PFS is a PI instrument and is only available via collaborative arrangement with the instrument team. If you are interested in using PFS, contact Steve Shectman before submitting a proposal. Questions about the instrument may be directed to Jeff Crane. Questions about PFS exoplanet science may be directed to Paul Butler.

PI team: Paul Butler, Jeff Crane, Steve Shectman, Ian Thompson

Last modified: 30 August 2010 01:40:38 am.