From the Board of Visitors Executive Committee


February 2014: Lifting the new tracker bridge into the HET dome (Coyne Gibson)

HETDEX on the Rise at McDonald Observatory

Construction of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is making significant progress on Mount Fowlkes at McDonald Observtory.

Dr. Gary Hill, McDonald Observatory's Chief Astronomer and a HETDEX team leader, reported on the progress at the February 22, 2014, Board of Visitors meeting. A link to Dr. Hill's presentation (in PDF format) can be found below, along with links to time-laps movies that he showed during his talk.

You can see Gary Hill's presentation at the following link:

Gary Hill's presentation from the February 2014 Board of Visitors Meeting

Highlights include

Below is a link to a time-lapse movie that came from Dr. Hill's presentation, showing the disassembly and removal of at the old HET tracker in October, 2013:

A video of the old HET tracker being disassembled and lifted out by crane

HET Telescope Operator Chevo Terrazas has created the movie, below, showing the installation of the new HETDEX tracker -- complete with musical accompaniment:


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HETDEX is a collaboration led by The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory, with partners including Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University, Universitats-Sternwärte Munich, Leibniz Institute für Astrophysics (AIP), Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Institut für Astrophysik Göttingen, and the University of Oxford. Financial support is provided by the State of Texas, the United States Air Force, the National Science Foundation, and the generous contributions of many private individuals and foundations.

[Joel Barna]


March 2014


Update: HETDEX Construction Progress