The Keck Observatory: Challenges and Promise

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Session 55 -- Heineman Prize Lecture
Invited presentation, Thursday, June 15, 1995, 11:40am - 12:30pm

[55.01] The Keck Observatory: Challenges and Promise

Jerry Nelson (UC Santa Cruz)

The history of the development of the Keck Observatory will be reviewed. Included will be a discussion of the most difficult challenges and their resolution. The telescope has been in routine scientific use since January 1994. The current status will be discussed, including the excellent seeing (median of 0.55 arc seconds), and the phasing of the segments (as good as 15 nm rms). Present scientific instruments are very powerful and their performance will be reviewed. These include a low resolution imaging spectrograph, a high resolution spectrograph, and a near infrared camera. Future instrument plans will also be briefly discussed. Progress on the second Keck telescope will be summarized. Capabilities of segmented mirror telescopes for the future will also be discussed.

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