Saturday, March 26, 2011

KMOS on the very large telescope

the very large telescope array (VLT) is a fascinating and beautiful set of four 8-meter diameter telescopes in the high plains of northern chile. the telescopes can be used together to create one large interferometer, or they can each be used individually with the unique instruments that have been crafted specially for each one.

A new instrument that will be attached to one of the VLT telescopes in the not-too-distant future (next year?) is the K-band (near-infrared) multi-object spectrograph, or more simply, KMOS.

as part of his backstage science series, brady was lucky enough to get a tour of the instrument as it is currently being constructed in scotland. we are lucky enough that he made a video of his experience that we can all watch!

KMOS is an instrument i'm excited to (hopefully) use one day and this video gives a good idea of how technically challenging these upgrades are (remember, the telescope is already built, this is just how the light is processed after it bounces off the main big mirrors!), and it gives some insight to purpose of the robot on the UK schmidt telescope that i showed photos of a few weeks ago.



heroineworshipper said...

Insane amount of work to share a telescope between 24 people.

astropixie said...


skywatcher88 said...

Very interesting of how this works!
Thanks for posting the video.Nice views of the Milky way rising and the VLT Scopes in movement.
Peace and Clear Skies!
P.S. Its kinda all ultrageek to me.