First light for TripleSpec at Apache Point Observatory

This page summarizes the journey of TripleSpec from departure from UVa to first observations at the 3.5-meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory on the night of March 19 (20UT), 2008. Click on any picture to see the full scale image.

TripleSpec departs Virginia on Wednesday March 12. The forklift is supporting the crate containing the instrument (riding internally on air springs). The view at right shows the entire contents shipped to Apache Point.
Arrival at Apache Point on Friday March 14, reversing the loading process with the difference being a howling 60 mile per hour wind.
TripleSpec in the "basement" of the 3.5-meter dome still in the base of its shipping crate (left) and its elevation to the observing level (right).
TripleSpec completely assembled on the observing floor and mounted on its instrument cart.
Shoving (soon to be gently pushing) TripleSpec into place for its first look at the sky - Wednesday March 19 (20UT).
First light slit viewer image of the outskirts of M67. Raw image (left) and difference image (right). The 1024x1024 slit viewer images the sky in Ks-band with 0.25"/pixel.
First light spectrum of 3 stars that fall in the slit. Raw spectrum (left) showing ambient thermal emission at the longest wavelengths, airglow lines, and the spectrum of three stars of significantly different brightness. Difference spectrum (right) removing thermal background and airglow (imperfectly).
First light spectrum of 3 stars that fell in the slit. Raw spectrum (left) showing ambient thermal emission at the longest wavelengths, airglow lines, and the spectrum of three stars of significantly different brightness. Difference spectrum (right) removing thermal background and airglow (imperfectly).
Zoom on 1.2um region of the previous spectrum.
Image showing slit placement on Saturn and its rings (left). Resulting spectrum (right) with planet/atmosphere on top and rings on the bottom. The Cassini Division is visible toward the bottom of the ring spectrum.
Seyfert galaxy NGC4151 with plenty of (resolved both spatially and spectrally) emission lines (left). Zoom on a few interesting emission lines (right).
Below are crudely extracted spectra of NGC4151. No telluric correction has been applied and bad pixels have not been removed. Order overlap has not been resolved.
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Molecular hydrogen and Brackett-gamma Short wavelengths Helium I Paschen-beta Forbidden Iron II