WHT - The Planetary Nebula Spectrograph (PNS)
ING Banner
Home > Public Information > WHT Public Information > Instruments > PN.S

William Herschel Telescope

The Planetary Nebula Spectrograph (PN.S)

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:

More information: PN.S web pages

More photos of this instrument: http://www.ing.iac.es/PR/archive/wht/instruments.html

Top | Back

Contact:  (Public Relations Officer)
Last modified: 23 July 2015