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APF—The Lick Observatory Automated Planet Finder

Steven S. Vogt, Matthew Radovan, Robert Kibrick, R. Paul Butler, Barry Alcott, Steve Allen, Pamela Arriagada, Mike Bolte, Jennifer Burt, Jerry Cabak, Kostas Chloros, David Cowley, William Deich, Brian Dupraw, Wayne Earthman, Harland Epps, Sandra Faber, Debra Fischer, Elinor Gates, David Hilyard, Brad Holden, Ken Johnston, Sandy Keiser, Dick Kanto, Myra Katsuki, Lee Laiterman, Kyle Lanclos, Greg Laughlin, Jeff Lewis, Chris Lockwood, Paul Lynam, Geoffrey Marcy, Maureen McLean, Joe Miller, Tony Misch, Michael Peck, Terry Pfister, Andrew Phillips, Eugenio Rivera, Dale Sandford, Mike Saylor, Richard Stover, Matthew Thompson, Bernie Walp, James Ward, John Wareham, Mingzhi Wei and Chris Wright
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Vol. 126, No. 938 (April 2014), pp. 359-379
DOI: 10.1086/676120
Stable URL:
Page Count: 21
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AbstractThe Automated Planet Finder (APF) is a facility purpose-built for the discovery and characterization of extrasolar planets through high-cadence Doppler velocimetry of the reflex barycentric accelerations of their host stars. Located atop Mount Hamilton, the APF facility consists of a 2.4 m telescope and its Levy spectrometer, an optical echelle spectrometer optimized for precision Doppler velocimetry. APF features a fixed-format spectral range from 374–970 nm, and delivers a “throughput” (resolution × slit width product) of 114,000″, with spectral resolutions up to 150,000. Overall system efficiency (fraction of photons incident on the primary mirror that are detected by the science CCD) on blaze at 560 nm in planet-hunting mode is 15%. First-light tests on the radial-velocity (RV) standard stars HD 185144 and HD 9407 demonstrate sub-meter-per-second precision (rms per observation) held over a 3 month period. This paper reviews the basic features of the telescope, dome, and spectrometer, and gives a brief summary of first-light performance.

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