Design and construction of a Cassegrain spectrograph for the 40 cm telescope of Szeged Observatory

The spectroscopy is the most informative observing technique in astronomy, when it entered to astronomical observations the astrophysics was born. Unfortunatelly there is no possibility in Hungary to get practice in this exciting field of science. There are no any instruments for recording stellar spectra except an objective prism facility on the 60/90/180 cm Schmidt telescope at Piszkés Mountain Station of the Konkoly Observatory. But this facility has small resolution and therefore the applications are limited. The medium and high resolution spectroscopy gives much more astrophysical information, but these techniquies can be studied only abroad by Hungarian scientist and students. At the beginning of the XX. century there was a famous Hungarian spectroscoper, Nicholas von Konkoly, but since his attractive work more than a century has elapsed. Although in the last few years some project were estabilished in order to take a new lease of life of spectroscopy in Hungarian astronomy but there was no breaktrough.

My intention for this work - which is the continuation of my instrumental development carried out at the Szeged Observatory, represented by the reconstruction and automatization of the 40 cm Cassegrain telescope (see this page, but unfortunately it's only in Hungarian)- was a construction of a medium resolution spectrograph. Such an instrument with a resolution of approximately R=3000=6000 is suitable for measuring radial velocities in a 10 km/s scale, monitoring spectral evolution of novae and bright supernovae, long-term observing of strange stars sorrounded by circumstellar matter. These give an unique opportunity for Hungarian astronomy students to get practice in the field of astronomical spectroscopy.

In these pages listed below I'd like to give a short overview about this project:

Basic considerations
The optics
The mechanical construction
About the electronics and software

First results

The team

June, 2002
If you have any quiestion please mail to me!