Khayyam: A tunable spatial heterodyne spectrometer for observing diffuse emission line targets

Sona Hosseini, Walter Harris, Jaso Corliss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


We describe first results from a new instrument-telescope configuration that combines all of the capabilities necessary to obtain high resolving power visible band spectra of diffuse targets from small aperture telescopes where significant observing time can be obtained. This instrument -Khayyam- is a tunable all-reflective spatial heterodyne spectrometer (SHS) that is mounted to a fixed focal plane shared by the 0.6m Coude auxiliary telescope and the 3m Shane telescope on Mt. Hamilton. Khayyam has an up to 78 arcmin input field of view, resolving power up to 176000, and a tunable bandpass from 350-700 nm. It is being field tested for initial use to study spatially extended solar system targets where high resolving power is necessary to separate multimodal signals, crowded molecular bands, and to sample low velocities (<10 km/s) and rapid temporal cadence is necessary to track physical evolution. Two of the best comet targets during next year is comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS), and C/2011 F1 (LINEAR). Our goal is to sequentially measure isotopic ratios of 14N:15N and 12C:13C in CN, along with the production rate and the production rate ratios of varies daughter species, particularly C2, C3, NH2, OI, and CN, as a function of heliocentric distance and time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
StatePublished - 2012
EventGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: Jul 1 2012Jul 6 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherGround-Based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV


  • Extended targets
  • Interferometry
  • SHS
  • Spatial heterodyne spectrometer
  • Spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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