MOONS: a multi-object optical and near-infrared spectrograph for the VLT

M. Cirasuolo, J. Afonso, R. Bender, P. Bonifacio, C. Evans, L. Kaper, Ernesto Oliva, Leonardo Vanzi, Manuel Abreu, Eli Atad-Ettedgui, Carine Babusiaux, Franz E. Bauer, Philip Best, Naidu Bezawada, Ian R. Bryson, Alexandre Cabral, Karina Caputi, Mauro Centrone, Fanny Chemla, Andrea CimattiMaria-Rosa Cioni, Gisella Clementini, João. Coelho, Emanuele Daddi, James S. Dunlop, Sofia Feltzing, Annette Ferguson, Hector Flores, Adriano Fontana, Johan Fynbo, Bianca Garilli, Adrian M. Glauser, Isabelle Guinouard, Jean-François Hammer, Peter R. Hastings, Hans-Joachim Hess, Rob J. Ivison, Pascal Jagourel, Matt Jarvis, G. Kauffman, A. Lawrence, D. Lee, G. Li Causi, S. Lilly, D. Lorenzetti, R. Maiolino, F. Mannucci, R. McLure, D. Minniti, D. Montgomery, B. Muschielok, K. Nandra, R. Navarro, P. Norberg, L. Origlia, N. Padilla, J. Peacock, F. Pedicini, L. Pentericci, J. Pragt, M. Puech, S. Randich, A. Renzini, N. Ryde, M. Rodrigues, F. Royer, R. Saglia, A. Sánchez, H. Schnetler, D. Sobral, R. Speziali, S. Todd, E. Tolstoy, M. Torres, L. Venema, F. Vitali, M. Wegner, M. Wells, V. Wild, G. Wright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

MOONS is a new conceptual design for a Multi-Object Optical and Near-infrared Spectrograph for the Very Large Telescope (VLT), selected by ESO for a Phase A study. The baseline design consists of 1000 fibers deployable over a field of view of 500 square arcmin, the largest patrol field offered by the Nasmyth focus at the VLT. The total wavelength coverage is 0.8um-1.8um and two resolution modes: medium resolution and high resolution. In the medium resolution mode (R=4,000-6,000) the entire wavelength range 0.8um-1.8um is observed simultaneously, while the high resolution mode covers simultaneously three selected spectral regions: one around the CaII triplet (at R=8,000) to measure radial velocities, and two regions at R=20,000 one in the J-band and one in the H-band, for detailed measurements of chemical abundances. The grasp of the 8.2m Very Large Telescope (VLT) combined with the large multiplex and wavelength coverage of MOONS - extending into the near-IR - will provide the observational power necessary to study galaxy formation and evolution over the entire history of the Universe, from our Milky Way, through the redshift desert and up to the epoch of re-ionization at z>8-9. At the same time, the high spectral resolution mode will allow astronomers to study chemical abundances of stars in our Galaxy, in particular in the highly obscured regions of the Bulge, and provide the necessary follow-up of the Gaia mission. Such characteristics and versatility make MOONS the long-awaited workhorse near-IR MOS for the VLT, which will perfectly complement optical spectroscopy performed by FLAMES and VIMOS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2012
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jul 20126 Jul 2012


ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV


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