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Planetary nebulae (PNe) are now well established as probes of galaxy dynamics and as standard candles in distance determinations. Motivated by the need to improve the efficiency of planetary nebulae searches and the speed with which their radial velocities are determined, a dedicated instrument—the Planetary Nebula Spectrograph, or PN.S—has been designed and commissioned at the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope. The high optical efficiency of the spectrograph results in the detection of typically ∼150 PNe in galaxies at the distance of the Virgo Cluster in one night of observations. In the same observation, the radial velocities are obtained with an accuracy of ∼20 km s .