Instruments::W. M. Keck Observatory


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MOSFIRE is a third generation instrument for the W. M. Keck Observatory. MOSFIRE was delivered to the W. M. Keck Observatory on February 8, 2012 and first light on the Keck 1 telescope was obtained on April 4, 2012. A Multi-Object Spectrograph For Infra-Red Exploration and wide-field camera for the near-infrared (0.97 to 2.41 μm), MOSFIRE's special feature is the cryogenic Configurable Slit Unit (CSU) that is reconfigurable under remote control in less than 6 minutes without any thermal cycling. Bars move in from each side to form up to 46 short slits. When the bars are removed MOSFIRE becomes a wide-field imager. The instrument was developed by teams from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of California, Santa Cruz, (UCSC). The Co- Principal Investigators are Ian S. McLean (UCLA) and Charles C. Steidel (Caltech), and the project was managed by WMKO Instrument Program Manager, Sean Adkins. MOSFIRE was funded in part by the Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP), which is operated by AURA and funded by the National Science Foundation, and by a private donation to WMKO by Gordon and Betty Moore.<ref></ref>
The Deep Extragalactic Imaging Multi-Object Spectrograph is capable of gathering spectra from 130 galaxies or more in a single exposure. In "Mega Mask" mode, DEIMOS can take spectra of more than 1,200 objects at once, using a special narrow-band filter.
The largest and most mechanically complex of the Keck's main instruments, the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer breaks up incoming light into its component colors to measure the precise intensity of each of thousands of color channels. Its spectral capabilities have resulted in many breakthrough discoveries, such as the detection of planets outside our solar system and direct evidence for a model of the Big Bang theory. This instrument has detected more extrasolar planets than any other in the world. The radial velocity precision is up to one meter per second (1.0 m/s).<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=web }}</ref> The instrument detection limit at 1 AU is 0.2 MJ.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The Low Resolution Imaging Spectrograph is a faint-light instrument capable of taking spectra and images of the most distant known objects in the universe. The instrument is equipped with a red arm and a blue arm to explore stellar populations of distant galaxies, active galactic nuclei, galactic clusters, and quasars.
The Near Infrared Camera for the Keck I telescope is so sensitive it could detect the equivalent of a single candle flame on the Moon. This sensitivity makes it ideal for ultra-deep studies of galactic formation and evolution, the search for proto-galaxies and images of quasar environments. It has provided ground-breaking studies of the Galactic center, and is also used to study protoplanetary disks, and high-mass star-forming regions. NIRC was retired from science observations in 2010.
The second generation Near Infrared Camera works with the Keck Adaptive Optics system to produce the highest-resolution ground-based images and spectroscopy in the 1–5 micrometers (µm) range. Typical programs include mapping surface features on Solar System bodies, searching for planets around other stars, and analyzing the morphology of remote galaxies.
The Near Infrared Spectrometer studies very high redshift radio galaxies, the motions and types of stars located near the Galactic Center, the nature of brown dwarfs, the nuclear regions of dusty starburst galaxies, active galactic nuclei, interstellar chemistry, stellar physics, and Solar System science.
The OH-Suppressing Infrared Imaging Spectrograph is a near-infrared spectrograph for use with the Keck 1 adaptive optics system. OSIRIS takes spectra in a small field of view to provide a series of images at different wavelengths. The instrument allows astronomers to ignore wavelengths where the Earth's atmosphere shines brightly due to emission from OH (hydroxyl) molecules, thus allowing the detection of objects 10 times fainter than previously available. Originally installed on Keck 2, in January, 2012 OSIRIS was moved to the Keck 1 telescope.
Keck Interferometer 
The Interferometer allowed the light from both Keck telescopes to be combined into an {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} baseline, near infrared, optical interferometer. This long baseline gave the interferometer an effective angular resolution of 5 milliarcseconds (mas) at 2.2 µm, and 24 mas at 10 µm. Several back-end instruments allowed the interferometer to operate in a variety of modes, operating in H, K, and L-band near infrared, as well as nulling interferometry. As of mid-2012 the Keck Interferometer has been discontinued for lack of funding. The instrument is currently in mothballed status and could be reactivated if funding permits.

Both Keck telescopes are equipped with laser guide star adaptive optics, which compensates for the blurring due to atmospheric turbulence. The first AO system operational on a large telescope, the equipment has been constantly upgraded to expand the capability.

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W. M. Keck Observatory sections
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