SAAO’s new spectrograph ready for First Light

The workhorse instrument for the SAAO’s 1.9-m telescope – the Cassegrain Spectrograph – has been in Cape Town for the past year, undergoing an extensive overhaul that will greatly improve its efficiency. The Spectrograph Upgrade project (SpUp) has evolved and expanded over the years and has engaged all members of the SAAO’s Instrumentation group, as well as staff from the Observatory’s Telescope Operations and Astronomy divisions.  Now that every major sub-system has been replaced (including the collimator and camera optics, the detector and control systems, and all of the software), the end result is effectively a brand new astronomical spectrograph – the first to be built in Africa. On-sky commissioning of “SpUppy” will begin once the instrument is installed on the telescope on Wednesday 21 October. Read more about the project and follow this exciting phase on the photo-rich SpUp blog at http://saaospup.blogspot.co.za/.

Assembling the spectrograph in Cape Town

Assembling the spectrograph in Cape Town

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