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William Herschel Telescope

ACAM: Auxiliary-port CAMera

— A wide-field Cassegrain imager and spectrograph —

First light (at ING): Jun 2009.

Designed and built by: ACAM was designed entirely by engineers and astronomers at ING, and was built in collaboration with Kevin Dee of Engineering & Project Solutions Ltd.

Description: ACAM can be used either for imaging (as above) through broad-band or narrow-band filters, or for taking spectra. In spectroscopy mode, the light from the object under study is dispersed by a VPH (volume-phase holographic) grating. For a 0.5-arcsec slit, the on-axis spectroscopic resolution is approximately 900 at a wavelength of 6000Å.

ACAM is mounted permanently at a folded-Cassegrain focus of the telescope, and can be deployed at a few minutes notice. This allows astronomers to switch quickly from the main camera in use for the night, to ACAM, for rapid follow-up of unusual events.

ACAM´s exceptional versatility allows astronomers to carry out a broad range of high-impact science projects which otherwise would not be possible with the WHT, in particular those requiring one or more of: rapid response; narrow-band imaging; wide field of view; low-resolution spectroscopy; or high camera throughput (very litte light is lost in the optics).

Time allocations:
Nights scheduled since semester 2007B

Instrument information:

Research impact:

Scientific highlights (17)

Publications (249 from ING paper count; else: 1)

Public outreach:

Media releases (20)


Photo archive (2)

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Last modified: 08 November 2023