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HORuS: High-Resolution and Broad Spectral Coverage on GTC

Dr. Carlos Allende

January 16th, 2019


The High Optical Resolution Spectrograph (HORuS), is now ready for operation on Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC). HORuS is mainly a recyled instrument, largely based on components from UES, which was available at the WHT in the 90's. HORuS offers single-object R=25,000 spectroscopy with broad spectral coverage (380-700 nm, with gaps in the red). A 3x3 integral field unit (IFU) covering 4.4 arcsec2 gathers the light on the focal plane into optical fibers that later align to form a pseudo-slit at the entrance of the spectrograph.
The science fibers can be illuminated with light from calibration lamps. On the detector, with the IFU acting as an image slicer, monochromatic light spreads over hundreds of pixels, enabling the possibility of achieving, for very bright targets, signal-to-noise ratios per resolution element of several thousand in a single exposure. For fainter targets (12<V<16), readout noise is minimized by on-chip binning 8 (spatial) x 2 (spectral). From direct comparison of spectra of the same targets, the combined efficiency of HORuS+GTC is about 40% lower than UVES+VLT. For a V=7 star, the signal-to-noise per resolution element in a 900-seconds integration is about 1500 at 525 nm.