Paris, 5 MARCH 2014
A photo report on the MUSE instrument has been jointly produced by CNRS, ESO and Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1. The images are available on the CNRS and Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 photo library websites:
View the video:
© Eric Le Roux/University Claude Bernard Lyon 1/CNRS/ESO
The MUSE instrument installed on the VLT. This view shows the VLT Unit Telescope 4 inside its enclosure. The telescope itself can be seen in the centre of the image, while the new MUSE instrument appears on the left. This unique and powerful tool for discovery uses 24 spectrographs to separate light into its component colors to create both images and spectra of selected regions of the sky. MUSE couples the discovery potential of an imaging device with the measuring capabilities of a spectrograph, while benefiting from the excellent image quality provided by adaptive optics.
© ESO/Ghaouti Hansali/Fernando Selman
The MUSE instrument at night. This dramatic night time view shows the MUSE instrument inside the dome of the VLT Unit Telescope 4. The telescope tube appears at the top of the picture and MUSE is seen glinting in the foreground. The Milky Way shines in through the open doors of the dome.
© ESO/MUSE consortium/R. Bacon
Image of the orion Nebula reconstructed by MUSE. This color composite of the Orion Nebula was produced from data from the new MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope. The new instrument splits up the light from each part of this spectacular star formation region into its component colors — revealing down to the finest detail the chemical and physical properties of each point. The image was produced from several MUSE datasets obtained soon after the instrument achieved first light in early 2014. To make this picture, selected regions of the spectrum were extracted to form a single color image. Impressive though this achievement may appear, it results from the combination of only a tiny fraction of the information contained in the three-dimensional datasets acquired by MUSE.
(1) ESO (European Southern Observatory) is the foremost intergovernmental organization for astronomy in Europe, and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. On behalf of the 15 member countries, it runs three observation sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. In Europe, ESO develops and operates the largest ground-based astronomy facilities.
(2) The VLT (Very Large Telescope) is made up of four 8 m-diameter telescopes, combined with a series of high-performance instruments.
(3) MUSE is the result of ten years of design and development by the MUSE consortium — headed by the Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon, France and the partner institutes: Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP, Germany), Institut für Astrophysik Göttingen (IAG, Germany), Institute for Astronomy ETH Zurich (Switzerland), L'Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP, France), Nederlandse Onderzoekschool voor de Astronomie (NOVA, the Netherlands) and ESO.
(4) This technique, known as integral field spectroscopy, enables astronomers to study the properties of different parts of an object such as a galaxy in order to observe its rotation and measure its mass. It is also used to determine the chemical composition as well as the physical properties of the different regions of the object being studied. Although the technique has been used for many years, with MUSE it has now reached new heights in sensitivity, efficiency and resolution. MUSE simultaneously combines high-resolution imaging with spectroscopy.
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