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  • The second generation VLT instrument MUSE : Science drivers and instrument design



    Summary : 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 1x1 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 7.5x7.5 arcsec² 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.

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