Telescope Instruments: HIRES

Instrument: High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES)
Telescope: Keck I
Wavelength: visible light
Instrument Scientist: Dr. Greg Doppmann
Description: Cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph that breaks incoming starlight into its different wavelengths, revealing data about an object’s distance, velocity, and chemical composition.
Unique Feature: Keck Observatory’s largest instrument – about the size of a dining room – giving it both the highest spectral resolving power and the largest set of optics of any Keck Observatory instrument.
Research Specialty: Known as Keck Observatory’s exoplanet finder, it is famous for discovering planets beyond our solar system and characterizing their stars.
Notable Contributions: HIRES was one of the first instruments in the world to confirm an exoplanet orbit. It was also used in the discovery of a fossil of the Big Bang, a relic cloud of gas in the distant universe.

“I appreciate HIRES for being one of Keck’s most successful astronomy instruments overall. It’s been incredibly stable and capable since it was first commissioned in 1995. I look forward to potentially using HIRES to study very red spectra so I can research young stars.” ~ Dr. Greg Doppmann