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The Messenger 117
September 2004

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Successful Commissioning of VISIR: the mid-infrared VLT Instrument

P. O. Lagage [1], J. W. Pel [2, 3], M. Authier [1], J. Belorgey [1], A. Claret [1], C. Doucet [1], D. Dubreuil [1], G. Durand [1], E. Elswijk [3],
P. Girardot [1], H. U. Käufl [4], G. Kroes [3], M. Lortholary [1],
Y. Lussignol [1], M. Marchesi [4], E. Pantin [1], R. Peletier [2, 3], J.-F. Pirard [4], J. Pragt [3], Y. Rio [1],
T. Schoenmaker [3], R. Siebenmorgen [4], A. Silber [4], A. Smette [4], M. Sterzik [4], C. Veyssiere [1]

[1] DSM/DAPNIA, CEA/Saclay, Saclay, France; [2] Kapteyn Institute, Groningen University, Groningen, The Netherlands;
[3] ASTRON (Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy), Dwingeloo, The Netherlands; [4] European Southern Observatory

Abstract: VISIR is the ESO-VLT instrument dedicated to observations through the two mid-infrared atmospheric windows (the so-called N and Q bands). VISIR was installed in April 2004 at the Cassegrain focus of Melipal, the third of the four 8.2 meter VLT unit telescopes; first light was obtained on May 1st. This cryogenic instrument combines imaging capabilities at the diffraction limit of the telescope (0.3 arcsec at 10 microns) over a field up to 51 arcsec, and long-slit (32 arcsec) grating spectroscopy capabilities with various spectral resolutions up to 25,000 at 10 microns and 12,500 at 20 microns. The instrument will be offered to the community for ESO period 75 (proposal due date: October 1st 2004).

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