ELT METIS Instrument Passes Design Milestone -- ASIAA Joins the Project!
METIS, the powerful imager and spectrograph for ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), has passed its Preliminary Design Review at ESO’s headquarters in Garching, Germany. METIS, short for Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Spectrograph, will make full use of the giant main mirror of the telescope to study a wide range of science topics, from objects in our Solar System to distant active galaxies. METIS will be extremely well suited to study the life cycle of stars, from infant stars and planet-forming discs to older stars near the end of their lifetime.
Artist depiction of the METIS instrument set to be used with the Extremely Large Telescope upon completion. METIS, short for Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Spectrograph, will make full use of the giant main mirror of the telescope to study a wide range of science topics, from objects in our Solar System to distant active galaxies.Credit: ESO/METIS Consortium/L. Calçada
30-Meter Class Telescopes are the next generation extremely large telescopes for optical/IR astronomy. Three 30-M Class telescope projects are currently under construction worldwide. Among them, the E-ELT has the largest aperture. Dr. Shiang-Yu Wang explains the participation of this project and says, "This is the very first instrumentation project that Academia Sinica ever participated in for 30-Meter Class optical telescopes. It will benefit Taiwanese scientists by accessing the largest OIR telescope on earth. Despite late entry to this project, we are confident that we can contribute the best technology from Taiwan and complete the instrument components that we are responsible for."
The ELT will be the largest optical to mid-infrared telescope on Earth when it starts operations towards the middle of this decade. With its 39-metre primary mirror and advanced adaptive-optics systems, it will have six times the resolution of the James Webb Space Telescope. METIS will take full advantage of this remarkable telescope and its adaptive optics to probe the structure and composition of objects with revolutionary precision.
Among others, METIS is expected to make large contributions to one of the most dynamic and exciting fields of astronomy for both scientists and the public, exoplanets. The instrument will be able to study the temperature, weather, and seasonal changes of the atmospheres of many giant exoplanets. Furthermore, METIS has the potential to directly detect terrestrial exoplanets around the nearest stars and, in favourable cases, investigate their atmospheric composition.
Now that the instrument has passed this Preliminary Design Review, the METIS consortium will continue to develop its design in further detail before construction on the instrument starts.
Webpage Editor: Lauren Huang