High Resolution Spectral Atlas of M32

The Kitt Peak Coude Feed Telescope is being used to generate a high resolution spectral atlas of the nucleus of M32, the nearest high surface brightness elliptical galaxy. With a Ford 3K CCD, sampling at 0.2-0.3 Å/pixel requires 14 grating tilts to cover the optical window from 3200Å to 1 micron. The goal is to achieve S/N of at least 100 over the entire wavelength range to study the details of the absorption lines to learn more about the stellar population present, how to read integrated light spectra, and how to do spectral synthesis in larger and more distant ellipticals. Because the spectrum is highly oversampled, the velocity broadening (about 80 km/s) can be deconvolved from the spectrum to gain a more detailed look at the integrated light of the stellar population. Here is a sample spectrum (one grating tilt) around the Mg Triplet (5167, 5172, 5183) and a closeup comparison with the same region in a G5 giant.
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UCD Physics Dept.
Cosmology Research Group
Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Modified February, 2003
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