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4MOST introduced to the scientific community

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4MOST introduced to the scientific community

The 4-metre Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope 4MOST will be the largestspectroscopic survey facility of its kind in the Southern hemisphere and address today’s most pressing astronomical questions in the fields of Galactic archaeology, high-energy astrophysics, galaxy evolution and cosmology. In the special issue of the ESO Messenger (No. 175 – Quarter 1 | 2019), 13 articles have been published to give the project overview and to provide astronomers with detailed information about the first Call for Proposals, the Scientific Operations and the Survey Strategy Plan.

«Also, each of the planned surveys are described, thus preparing the ESO community for the Call for Letters of Intent to use the facility, which will be released in the second half of 2019», says Roelof de Jong, Principle Investigator of 4MOST. «This will be a singular opportunity for the astronomical community to apply to use the facility during its first five years of observation.»

4MOST is a new wide-field spectroscopic survey facility under development for the four-metre-class Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) at Paranal in Chile. It is on one of the best observatory sites in the world and provides access to unique objects in the Southern hemisphere, most notably the Galactic Centre and the Magellanic Clouds. The 4MOST design allows tens of millions of spectra to be obtained via five-year surveys, even for targets distributed over a significant fraction of the sky. The instrument is under construction at a number of consortium institutes, including the Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (CRAL), and coordinated by the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), Germany.

Role of CRAL

o CRAL is responsible for the design, manufacturing, assembly and tests of the two Low Resolution Spectrographs (LRS) of 4MOST. Locally in Lyon, in the environment of the LabEx LIO, CRAL works with the Laboratoire des Matériaux Avancés (LMA) to depose thin layers on the dichroics of the spectrographs. Once the subsystems are finished at the different institutes, they will all be transported to Potsdam and extensively tested as a full system. In 2022, they will be shipped to Chile and installed on the VISTA telescope. See the CRAL’s team here.

o CRAL is co-leading the 4MOST Cosmology Redshift Survey (CRS), presented in one of the Messenger papers (Johan Richard et al., 2019, issue 175, p. 50). The goal of CRS will be to measure the distances for millions of galaxies and quasars in order to test the cosmological model and gravitational physics.

Photo credit: Gerhard Hüdepohl / Atacamaphoto - VISTA infrared survey telescope at Paranal, with the VLT in the background.

View online : The Messenger, Issue 75, March 2019