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24 September 2012 Harps-N: the new planet hunter at TNG
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Abstract
The Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG)[9] hosts, starting in April 2012, the visible spectrograph HARPS-N. It is based on the design of its predecessor working at ESO's 3.6m telescope, achieving unprecedented results on radial velocity measurements of extrasolar planetary systems. The spectrograph's ultra-stable environment, in a temperature-controlled vacuum chamber, will allow measurements under 1 m/s which will enable the characterization of rocky, Earth-like planets. Enhancements from the original HARPS include better scrambling using octagonal section fibers with a shorter length, as well as a native tip-tilt system to increase image sharpness, and an integrated pipeline providing a complete set of parameters. Observations in the Kepler field will be the main goal of HARPS-N, and a substantial fraction of TNG observing time will be devoted to this follow-up. The operation process of the observatory has been updated, from scheduling constraints to telescope control system. Here we describe the entire instrument, along with the results from the first technical commissioning.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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