VISIBLE BAND (0.3-1.0 Micron)
DEIMOS - The Deep Extragalactic Imaging Multi-Object Spectrograph is the most advanced optical spectrograph in the world, capable of gathering spectra from 130 galaxies or more in a single exposure. In ‘Mega Mask’ mode, DEIMOS can take spectra of more than 1,200 objects at once, using a special narrow-band filter.
ESI - The Echellette Spectrograph and Imager captures high-resolution spectra of very faint galaxies and quasars ranging from the blue to the infrared in a single exposure. It is a multimode instrument that allows users to switch among three modes during a night. It has produced some of the best non-AO images at the Observatory.
HIRES - The largest and most mechanically complex of the Keck’s main instruments, the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer breaks up incoming starlight into its component colors to measure the precise intensity of each of thousands of color channels. Its spectral capabilities have resulted in many breakthrough discoveries, such as the detection of planets outside our solar system and direct evidence for a model of the Big Bang theory.
LRIS - The Low Resolution Imaging Spectrograph is a faint-light instrument capable of taking spectra and images of the most distant known objects in the universe. The instrument is equipped with a red arm and a blue arm to explore stellar populations of distant galaxies, active galactic nuclei, galactic clusters, and quasars.
NEAR-INFRARED (1-5 Micron)
ADAPTIVE OPTICS - Adaptive optics senses and compensates for the atmospheric distortions of incoming starlight up to 1,000 times per second. This results in an improvement in image quality on fairly bright astronomical targets by a factor 10 to 20.
LASER GUIDE STAR ADAPTIVE OPTICS - The Keck Laser Guide Star expands the range of available targets for study with the Keck II adaptive optics system. It uses a 15-watt sodium-dye laser to excite sodium atoms that naturally exist in the atmosphere 90 km (55 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The laser creates an “artificial star” that allows the Keck adaptive optics system to observe 70-80 percent of the targets in the northern sky, compared to the 1 percent accessible without the laser.
NIRC - The Near Infrared Camera for the Keck I telescope is so sensitive it could detect the equivalent of a single candle flame on the Moon. This sensitivity makes it ideal for ultra-deep studies of galactic formation and evolution, the search for proto-galaxies and images of quasar environments. It has provided ground-breaking studies of the Galactic center, and is also used to study protoplanetary disks, and high-mass star-forming regions.
NIRC-2/AO - The second generation Near Infrared Camera works with the Keck Adaptive Optics system to produce the highest-resolution ground-based images and spectroscopy in the 1-5 micron range. Typical programs include mapping surface features on solar system bodies, searching for planets around other stars, and analyzing the morphology of remote galaxies.
NIRSPEC - The Near Infrared Spectrometer studies very high redshift radio galaxies, the motions and types of stars located near the Galactic Center, the nature of brown dwarfs, the nuclear regions of dusty starburst galaxies, active galactic nuclei, interstellar chemistry, stellar physics, and solar-system science.
OSIRIS - The OH-Suppressing Infrared Imaging Spectrograph is a near-infrared spectrograph for use with the Keck II adaptive optics system. OSIRIS takes spectra in a small field of view to provide a series of images at different wavelength. The instrument allows astronomers to ignore wavelengths where the Earth’s atmosphere shines brightly due to emission from OH (hydroxl) molecules, thus allowing the detection of objects 10 times fainter than previously available.
MID-INFRARED (5-27 Micron)
KECK INTERFEROMETER - The Keck-Keck Interferometer combines light from the two Keck telescopes to measure the diameters of stars, disks orbiting nearby stars and the orbital characteristics of binary systems. The interferometer can reach high angular resolutions to a small fraction of an arcsecond, providing the effective resolution of a telescope 85-meters in diameter. Currently the system works in three modes: V2-science working in the near-infrared (H&K band) and mid-IR (L-band at 3.6um), and the Nuller, working in N-band (10um). as well as the SPR (self-phase referencing for high spectral resolution) working in the K-band.