Keck HIRES Spectrograph

HIgh Resolution Echelle Spectrometer

The HIRES spectrograph is a high resolution optical spectrometer mounted permanently on the right Nasmyth platform of the Keck 10-meter telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Information about the HIRES which may prove useful to a guest observer are described in this document.

Instrument documentation at Keck

The above link points to CARA's WWW page on HIRES.

We are currently upgrading the HIRES CCD.

The HIRES Users Manual

This manual describes the capabilities of HIRES. It is certainly incomplete, but geting better all the time. The most recent version is presented here. Users who find any essential information missing are welcome to request such from Steve Vogt, who will add it and update the manual as time permits. It is available as a PostScript file. Note that because this file was generated using Arbortext's Publisher software it does not conform to Adobe Document Structuring Conventions. This means that it does not preview well with GhostScript and may only be useful when printed.

The HIRES format simulator

The HIRES format simulator gives an observer insight into the locations where light will fall on the detector. It is available in binary form for Sparc systems running SunOS 4.1.x as a compressed tar file. The manual is also available as a PostScript file. This manual was also created with Arbortext's Publisher and the above caveats apply again.

The source code for the format simulator is available upon request to Steve Allen <> but can only be built if your site has Lick Mongo. Lick Mongo is a derivative of the original MONGO by John Tonry. The terms of its availability should be on the WWW.

The HIRES signal to noise simulator

The HIRES S/N simulator gives an observer insight into the observability of objects. It accounts for instrumental characteristics as well as lunar and seeing conditions. It is available as Fortran source code in this tar file. The code was written by Michael Keane.

The HIRES slit position angle calculator

Unless the image rotator for HIRES is used, the position angle of the slit changes as the telescope tracks any object. A PostScript plot charts the position angle of the slit as the Keck tracks objects at various declinations. A simple calculator program for this angle is also available in a compressed tar file. This utility was written by Steve Allen <>.

The xhires control room simulator

The xhires program is the user interface which is used at the summit to control the HIRES spectrograph. It can be run in a standalone mode without being at Mauna Kea.

xhires is created, provided, and maintained by CARA. Instructions for obtaining it are contained in their README file. Please direct all further inquiries to the CARA personnel mentioned therein.

Steven S. Vogt <>
UCO/Lick Observatory
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA 95064