The High Efficiency and Resolution Mercator Echelle Spectrograph HERMES

HERMES is the acronym for High Efficiency and Resolution Mercator Echelle Spectrograph installed on the KULeuven 1.2m MERCATOR telescope at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma. This instrument is fibre-fed and will cover a wavelength range of not less than 380-875 nm in one single shot, with a spectral resolution between 40 000 and 90 000, depending on the width of the additional spectrograph slit.

The HERMES spectrograph is optimised for very high wavelength stability in combination with the highest possible optical throughput. The project is a collaboration between the KULeuven (PIs Christoffel Waelkens, Hans Van Winckel), the ULB (PI Alain Jorissen) and the Belgian Royal Observatory (PI Herman Hensberge) with as Project Engineer Gert Raskin.

The spectrograph is fully funded by dedicated financial support from the KULeuven (25%), the FWO-Vlaanderen (25%) the FNRS (25%) and the Lotto (25%). During a later phase of the project, also the Geneva Observatory (Switserland) and the Thuringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg (Germany) joined the consortium.