A revolutionary muse
Is this tangle of cords and hoses a machine from the movie The Matrix? You can stay calm: even though the sign says “danger”, what may look like a threatening machine is actually the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal Observatory. MUSE is one of the largest instruments at the VLT and is connected to one of its four 8.2 m telescopes, Yepun.
The power of MUSE is that it can take thousands of images at many different colours in one go or, in other words, to take lots of spectra within a large portion of the sky at once. This means that astronomers can observe a galaxy and get the spectral information about all regions of that galaxy. From the spectra, astronomers can determine, for instance, the chemical composition of the galaxy, key in understanding how elements such as the ones that make up us came to be.
MUSE is highly sophisticated: it comprises 24 spectrographs working together, and it took over nine years to construct, assemble and test it. One can thus truly say that MUSE is a one of its kind and a revolutionary instrument.
About the Image
|19 September 2022, 06:00
|7360 x 4912 px