HERMES at Mercator, competitive high-resolution spectroscopy with a small telescope


  • Based on observations made with the Mercator Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma by the Flemish Community, at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.


HERMES, a fibre-fed high-resolution (R = 85000) échelle spectrograph with good stability and excellent throughput, is the work-horse instrument of the 1.2-m Mercator telescope on La Palma. HERMES targets building up time series of high-quality data of variable stellar phenomena, mainly for asteroseismology and binary-evolution research. In this paper we present the HERMES project and discuss the instrument design, performance, and a future upgrade. We also present some results of the first four years of HERMES observations. We illustrate the value of small telescopes, equipped with efficient instrumentation, for high-resolution spectroscopy. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)