WiFeS is a powerful integral field, double-beam, concentric, image-slicing spectrograph designed to deliver excellent thoughput, precision spectrophotometric performance and superb image quality along with wide spectral coverage throughout the 320-1000 nm wavelength region. It is currently under construction at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Australian National University (ANU), and will be mounted on the ANU 2.3m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. It will provide a 25x31 arc sec field with 0.5 arc sec sampling along each of twenty five 31x1.0 arc sec slitlets. The output format is arranged to match the 4096x4096 pixel CCD detectors in each of two cameras individually optimized for the blue and the red ends of the spectrum, respectively. A process of "interleaved nod-and-shuffle" will be applied to permit quantum noise-limited sky subtraction. Using VPH gratings, spectral resolutions modes of 3000 and 7000 will be provided. The full spectral range is covered in a single exposure in the R=3000 mode, and in two exposures in the R=7000 mode. The use of transmissive coated optics, VPH gratings and optimized mirror coatings ensures a throughput (including telescope and atmosphere) that peaks above 30%. The concentric image-slicer design ensures an excellent and uniform image quality across the full field. To maximize the scientific return, the whole instrument is configured for remote observing, pipeline data reduction, and the accumulation of calibration image libraries.
The Wide Field Spectrograph (WiFeS) is a high-throughput double-beam
image-slicing spectrograph that will operate over the visible
wavelength range 320nm to 1000nm. Designed by the Australian National
University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) at
Mount Stromlo, WiFeS is based on an Integral Field Unit (IFU) and
Volume Phased Holographic (VPH) grating technology.
Central to the IFU design is a visible wavelength image
slicer. Traditionally, such a slicer has been difficult to realise,
due to the requisite high surface quality demanded to reduce scatter
from each slice.
In this paper, we discuss both the novel design and manufacture of the
WiFeS slicer assembly. Preliminary results are presented that clearly
demonstrate the effectiveness of the design.
High redshift radio galaxies are great cosmological tools for pinpointing the most massive objects in the early Universe: massive forming galaxies, active super-massive black holes and proto-clusters. We report on deep narrow-band imaging and spectroscopic observations of several <i>z</i> > 2 radio galaxy fields to investigate the nature of giant Ly-α nebulae centered on the galaxies and to search for over-dense regions around them. We discuss the possible implications for our understanding of the formation and evolution of massive galaxies and galaxy clusters.
In June 1997, NASA made the decision to extend the end of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) mission from 2005 until 2010. As a result, the age of the instruments on board the HST became a consideration. After careful study, NASA decided to ensure the imaging capabilities of the HST by replacing the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 with a low-cost facility instrument, the Wide Field Camera 3. This paper provides an overview of the scientific goals and capabilities of the instrument.
The lower stratosphere in the polar regions offers conditions for observation in the near-infrared comparable to those obtained from space. We describe a concept for a 6-meter, diluted aperture, near-infrared telescope carried by a tethered aerostat flying at 12 km altitude, to serve as a testbed for future space astronomical observatories while producing frontier science.