A foundation established by KLA Instruments (now KLA-Tencor) founder Kenneth Levy and his wife, Gloria, has given $600,000 to fund the spectrometer part of the Automated Planet Finder (APF) telescope now being built at the University of California's Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton. The spectrometer, designed by University of California, Santa Cruz, astronomy and astrophysics professor Steven Vogt, will be named for the Levys. The APF is scheduled for first light in May, and will use its 8-ft primary mirror and spectrometer to search for an Earth-sized planet in another solar system. "We're looking for shifts in the spectrum on the focal plane of the spectrometer that are on the order of a thousandth of a pixel. And we have to be able to find those shifts and track them from year to year, summer to winter, spring to fall. The shifts we're looking for amount to a distance of about 80 atoms on the surface of the CCD (camera)," said Vogt, who also designed the high-resolution "HIRES" spectometer on the 10-m Keck I Telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and the Hamilton spectrometer on Lick's 3-m Shane Telescope. The new spectrometer is the size of a phone booth, Vogt said, and instead of being connected to the telescope via fiber optic cables it is mounted directly on the APF. The instrument's steel and magnesium skeleton keeps the optics in perfect alignment and also keeps the spectrometer from flexing or sagging as the telescope rotates. Other innovations include silver instead of the standard aluminum mirrors and custom-made antireflective lens coatings, Vogt said.