In labs across Europe and Chile MOONS (Multi-Object Optical and Near-infrared Spectrograph) is currently being built. In a few years’ time, this instrument will become the next generation spectrograph for ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, giving astronomers a new way to study our universe.
Heraeus Quarzglas’s unique low OH fused silica grades and in depth technical support is enabling advancements in IR astronomy. For this reason, we can count ourselves among the major industrial partners of MOONS. With our help and the help of many other specialist industrial partners from across the globe MOONS will enable the study of the first galaxies and the growth of galaxies in the galactic archeology. Beyond this MOONS will also provide the essential deep spectroscopic follow-up of current and future optical and near-IR imaging surveys. One example is VISTA, where in 2003 Heraeus Quarzglas also supplied the raw material for the critical transmissive optics.
From a technical perspective, MOONS can be easily broken down into two main sections:
- the part that is mechanically attached to the telescope and couples the light into the optical fibers and
- the static spectrograph wherein the light from the fibers is dispersed and recorded