Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Dr. Douglas Gies

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Crenshaw

Third Advisor

Dr. Russel White


I present a study done to determine the characteristics of the LHIRES III spectrograph on the 20 inch RC Optics telescope at Hard Labor Creek Observatory. I describe the settings of three different diffraction gratings, collimation and focus issues, and practical aspects of use. The spectrograph was used with a SBIG ST-8XME camera for all studies. Data collection was accomplished with the Maxim DL software package and analysis was completed with IRAF. Solutions for the dispersion relation with all three diffraction gratings were found. Several projects are underway with this instrument. I present time series spectra of α Vir to demonstrate the practical applications of the spectrograph. This non-radially pulsating star shows Doppler shifts that were recorded in the Si III 4552, 4568, 4574 Å triplet over the course of a night. The observed profile variations showed the spectrograph capable of exacting scientific work.