Friday, 25 March 2011

Eyes on the Sky

A telescope with 24 eyes.

That's what will be created when work is finished on the KMOS instrument and it's attached to the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.

KMOS stands for K-band Multi-object Spectrometer (I don't write the names, I just report them!)

Basically it sees in infrared. And it has 24 little arms which move around the field of vision and focus in on specific galaxies, taking detailed spectra of each of them.

Only 16 of the arms had been installed when the picture on this blog was taken.

The whole thing has to be kept in a giant metal drum to ensure it is super freezing cold.

For more information, watch the Backstage Science video below:

I think the most amazing thing is that the huge instrument will be flown to Chile on an Antanov plane!

Anyway... Here are some extra questions and answers (about more general stuff) with Michele, the instrument scientist who appears in the video:

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