An Agreement Signed by KIAA, NAOC and Caltech to Build a World-leading Spectrograph at Palomar Observatory

MoU Signing


On Oct. 24, 2017, Luis Ho, director of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University (KIAA/PKU), Suijian Xue, Deputy Director-General of National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), and Shrinivas Kulkarni, director of Caltech Optical Observatories (COO) signed a cooperative agreement in Beijing for the development and use of the “Next Generation Palomar Spectrograph (NGPS)” at the 5-meter Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory, California, US.


design photo of Next Generation Palomar Spectrograph


In the last a few years, Chinese astronomers have frequently used the Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory through the “Telescope Access Program” organized by NAOC, and a close, productive partnership among KIAA, NAOC and COO has been established. NGPS will replace the currently widely used famous Double Spectrograph (DBSP) at Hale telescope, and become one of the world’s leading instruments for general purpose, high-throughput spectroscopy in optical astronomy. PKU has contributed the initial funding for the development of NGPS. The NGPS will be constructed at the Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology (NIAOT) and COO. The construction is expected to be completed by July 2021.


Hale 5m Telescope

The project has important leadership from KIAA. According to the agreement, KIAA, NAOC and COO have formed a Science Board for NGPS; Luis Ho is the co-chair of the Board. Xue-Bing Wu, the associate director of KIAA, is the Optical System Manager for NGPS.