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30 September 2004 The second-generation VLT instrument MUSE: science drivers and instrument design
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Abstract
The Multi Unit spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) is a second generation VLT panoramic integral-field spectrograph operating in the visible wavelength range. MUSE has a field of 1 x 1 arcmin2 sampled at 0.2x0.2 arcsec2 and is assisted by a ground layer adaptive optics system using four laser guide stars. The simultaneous spectral range is 0.465-0.93 μm, at a resolution of R~3000. MUSE couples the discovery potential of a large imaging device to the measuring capabilities of a high-quality spectrograph, while taking advantage of the increased spatial resolution provided by adaptive optics. This makes MUSE a unique and tremendously powerful instrument for discovering and characterizing objects that lie beyond the reach of even the deepest imaging surveys. MUSE has also a high spatial resolution mode with 7.5 x 7.5 arcse2 field of view sampled at 25 milli-arcsec. In this mode MUSE should be able to get diffraction limited data-cube in the 0.6-1 μm wavelength range. Although MUSE design has been optimized for the study of galaxy formation and evolution, it has a wide range of possible applications; e.g. monitoring of outer planets atmosphere, young stellar objects environment, supermassive black holes and active nuclei in nearby galaxies or massive spectroscopic survey of stellar fields.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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