Expanding the Frontiers of Science
HARPS-N Spectrograph Utilizes Large Mosaic Echelle Grating
The Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) is a 3.6m telescope located high atop a mountain on La Palma Island in the Canary Islands. Within the telescope, a high precision instrument called the HARPS-N (High Accuracy Radial Planet Searcher-North) spectrograph gathers high-resolution spectral data. Astronomers believe the HARPS-N to be the highest resolution planet finder in the Northern Hemisphere. By combining spectral data from the HARPS-N with data from NASA’s Kepler Space Satellite, scientists can study earth-like planets outside of our solar system.
A key component within the spectrograph is one of the largest custom mosaic Echelle gratings in the world. Richardson Gratings™ developed and fabricated this grating for the Geneva Observatory (University of Geneva), the institute leading the HARPS-N Consortium. This grating has 31.6 grooves per millimeter with a nominal blaze angle of 75 degrees and is replicated on to a Schott Zerodur® substrate of dimensions 214 mm x 840 mm x 125 mm weighing 55 kg (125 pounds).
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