The multi-object spectrograph on the E-ELT

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To secure Dutch involvement in the definition process of MOSAIC, a multi-object spectrograph for the E-ELT.

By actively participating in preliminary studies for the technical requirements of the instrument, NOVA aims to secure a substantial role in the future instrument.

Involved Partners


Dutch astronomers aim to participate in the definition process of MOSAIC, the multi-object spectrograph for the E-ELT (E-ELT/MOS).

Following the successful completion of the phase A study on the fibre-fed MOS called OPTIMOS-EVE in March 2010, discussions between the OPTIMOS-EVE and EAGLE teams (two phase A E-ELT/MOS concepts operating with fibres for the former and with Integral Field Units and dedicated adaptive optics for the latter) have resulted in a new instrument concept called MOSAIC: Multi-Object Spectrograph for Astrophysics, Intergalactic-medium studies and Cosmology. The consortium gathers more than 25 institutes and 10 countries, including a Brazilian participation.

By actively participating in preliminary studies for the technical requirements of the instrument, NOVA aims to secure a substantial role in the future instrument.


Preliminary studies have resulted in science and technical requirements for the E-ELT/MOS, evaluating both a "high definition" and a "high multiplex" mode using a common focal plane.
* High definition: Observations of tens of channels at fine spatial resolution, with MOAO providing high-performance AO for selected sub-fields in the focal plane;

* High multiplex: Integrated-light (or coarsely resolved) observations of >100 objects at the spatial resolution delivered by GLAO.

common_focal_plate The front side of a common focal plate. 10 pick-off mirrors for the IFU mode are represented as well as 5 NGS pick-off systems and a large number of fibre buttons.

Eight top-level science cases that will drive the design of MOSAIC have been defined, but these are not the limits of its scientific potential. - First light - spectroscopy of the most distant galaxies; - Tomography of the IGM; - Mass assembly of galaxies through cosmic times . AGN/Galaxy co-evolution & AGN feedback - Resolved stellar populations beyond the local group - Galaxy archaeology - Galactic centre science - Planet formation in different environments

This list illustrates the huge range in scientific applications of an E-ELT MOS, covering the key science cases driving the construction of the E-ELT. The cases listed here are obviously not the full scope of the potential MOS science on the E-ELT, many other cases could be listed here, e.g., distant galaxy clusters, other Galactic stellar populations (such as white dwarfs), extragalactic stellar clusters, etc.

The call for proposals has been postponed by ESO. It is now expected to be released in (late) 2015. In the perspective of the ESO call for proposal the phase A work packages are being defined (assuming MOSAIC will be selected). The Netherlands will be involved in the optical spectrograph and data reduction system work packages, as well as in the project science and management.

More information about MOSAIC and its status can be found at:

Involved Partners
This work is done by NOVA in collaboration with its MOSAIC partners abroad.


* ELT-MOS White Paper: Science Overview & Requirements, C. Evans, M. Puech, B. Barbuy, N. Bastian, P. Bonifacio, E. Caffau, J. G. Cuby, G. Dalton, B. Davies, J. Dunlop, H. Flores, F. Hammer, L. Kaper, B. Lemasle, S. Morris, L. Pentericci, P. Petitjean, D. Schaerer, E. Telles, N. Welikala, B. Ziegler
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* MOSAIC at E-ELT: A MOS for Astrophysics, IGM and Cosmology, SPIE 2014 conf. Proc. F. Hammer, B. Barbuy, J. G. Cuby, L. Kaper, S. Morris, C. Evans, P. Jagourel, G. Dalton, P. Rees, M. Puech, M. Rodrigues, D. Pearson, K. Disseau
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* Sky background subtraction with fiber-fed spectrographs, SPIE 2014 conf. Proc. M. Puech, M. Rodrigues, Y. Yang, H. Flores, F. Royer, K. Disseau, T. Goncalves, F. Hammer, M. Cirasuolo, C.J. Evans, G. Li Causi, R. Maiolino, C. Melo
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* AO modelling for wide-field E-ELT instrumentation using Monte-Carlo simulation, SPIE 2014 conf. Proc. A. Basden, S. Morris, T. Morris, R. Myers,
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* Science Case and Requirements for the MOSAIC Concept for a Multi-Object Spectrograph for the European Extremely Large Telescope, SPIE 2014 conf. Proc. C. J. Evans, M. Puech, B. Barbuy, P. Bonifacio, J.-G. Cuby, E. Guenther, F. Hammer, P. Jagourel, L. Kaper, S. L. Morris, J. Afonso, P. Amram, H. Aussel, A. Basden, N. Bastian, G. Battaglia, B. Biller, N. Bouché, E. Caffau, S. Charlot, Y. Clenet, F. Combes, C. Conselice, T. Contini, G. Dalton, B. Davies, K. Disseau, J. Dunlop, F. Fiore, H. Flores, T. Fusco, D. Gadotti, A. Gallazzi, E. Giallongo, T. Goncalves, D. Gratadour, V. Hill, M. Huertas-Company, R. Ibata, S. Larsen, O. Le Fèvre, B. Lemasle, C. Maraston, S. Mei, Y. Mellier, G. Östlin, T. Paumard, R. Pello, L. Pentericci, P. Petitjean, M. Roth, D. Rouan, D. Schaerer, E. Telles, S. Trager, N. Welikala, S. Zibetti, B. Ziegler
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* Simulations of high-z galaxy observations with an ELT-MOS, SPIE 2014 conf. Proc. K. Disseau, M. Puech, H. Flores, F. Hammer, Y. Yang, L. Pentericci
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Active galactic nucleus


Adaptive optics


European Southern Observatory


Ground layer adaptive optics


Intergalactic medium


Multi-Object Adaptive Optics


Multi Object Spectrograph


Natural Guide Star

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