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William Herschel Telescope

PN.S: The Planetary Nebula Spectrograph

— Double-arm slitless spectrograph —


First light: 16 July 2001.

Designed and built by: Anglo-Australian Observatory, Kapteyn Institute, the Netherlands, Mt Stromlo and Siding Springs Observatory, Australia, ESO, Garching.

Description: Planetary Nebulae (PNe) are excellent probes of a distant galaxy´s rotational dynamics. Through their strong [OIII] emission line at 5007Å rest wavelength they can be easily detected and their radial velocity determined. In addition, it is now widely accepted that their luminosity in the [OIII] line (for an ensemble of PNe this is called the PNLF - Planetary Nebula Luminosity Function) has a fairly sharp bright-end cutoff, which means that they can be used as "standard candles" in determining distances. The PNS project aims to build a dedicated Planetary Nebula Spectrograph in order to push this technique to its limit. 

Some scientific highlights:

Publications (scientific papers, technical publications, etc.).

Instrument information:
http://www2011.mpe.mpg.de/opinas/research/DynamicsGroup/pns/index.htm

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Last modified: 22 August 2016