Current Studies - Feasibility Studies

 MICADO

MICADO is the near-Ir imaging camera for the multi-conjugate adaptive optics system on the external link42-m European Extremely Large Telescope. Following a call for proposals by ESO, the MICADO Consortium was awarded the contract for the Phase A study. The goal of the consortium is to design a simple and robust instrument that can address as much science as possible, and be ready in time for first light at the E-ELT. The instrument PI is R. Genzel, Project Manager is R. Davies and Project Scientist A. Renzini.  

Plot
Figure 1:Overview of the mechanical design of MICADO. Left: the full cryostat; Right: the large filter wheels for both arms of the instrument.

 The current instrument concept combines a simple and robust primary imaging field with a configurable "Christmas Tree" Arm. The primary imaging field uses almost exclusively reflective optics to image a field of approximately 53"x53". The only transmissive optics are the necessary entrance window and filters. The filters wheels, are the only moving part in this arm of the camera. The pixel scale is fixed at 3mas, and so the detectors at the focal plane need to provide 16000x16000 pixels. The Christmas Tree arm picks off a field of approximately 8"x8" adjacent to the primary imaging field covered by a single 4Kx4K detector. The light path is folded along an independent optical path and, via a number of exchangeable fold mirrors, can be imaged at variable pixel scales. The baseline is to provide 2mas scale, yielding fields of view of 8". Two large wheels provide space for numerous filters as well as options for polarimetry, spectroscopy, etc. The possibility of including a tunable narrow band filter (Fabry Perot) is also being considered. The detailed capabilities that will be included in this arm are under review by the Science Team and will be decided early during Phase A2. Overview Science MICADO will have a combination of angular resolution, field of view, and near-IR sensitivity that will be unsurpassed by any other imager on the ground or in space. As a long-slit spectrograph, it will offer for some years an unsurpassed combination of angular and spectral resolution and sensitivity. These capabilities open to MICADO many opportunities for breaking new ground in several areas of cosmology and astrophysics. The performances of MICADO make it the ideal instrument to study the nuclei of galaxies, closer to their centers than ever done so far. This applies first to the Galactic Center itself, with the possibility of mapping stellar orbits and flaring gas closer and closer to the event horizon of the central BH. The impressive resolution (6 or 7 times better than JWST) and sensitivity (to an AB magnitude of about 29 across I-K) of MICADO will provide exquisite detail over a range of science themes from young stellar objects in our galaxy to star formation in high redshift galaxies. The superior angular resolution of MICADO makes its astrometric applications especially attractive, and every effort should be made to ensure the short and long term stability of the instrument. Besides mapping stellar orbits near the central black hole in the Galaxy, astrometry of globular cluster stars should allow astronomers to measure trigonometric parallaxes and proper motions of these stellar systems with unprecedented accuracy, as well as reveal whether they harbour intermediate mass black holes near their centers. The Observatory has an important role mainly in two areas: Optical design of the camera and development and coordination of science cases. Specific science cases are described in : LINK1, LINK2.

People: R. Falomo, J. Farinato, L. Greggio, D. Magrin, R. Ragazzoni, A. Renzini.

Collaboration: G. Piotto (Padova Univ.); Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics, the Observatory of the University of Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, the Federation of Dutch University Astronomy Departments.

Links:  MICADO web page at MPE.

News – MEDIA INAF

Il notiziario online dell'Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica
  • Un gruppo di ricercatori del progetto Hosts sta utilizzando l'interferometro di Lbt per conoscere meglio la polvere stellare che protegge pianeti e altri oggetti in molti sistemi solari. In futuro, gli esperti saranno in grado di scoprire ancora più esopianeti grazie ai dati raccolti in Arizona

  • «La camera funziona molto bene, e lo dimostra questa bellissima immagine a colori ad alta risoluzione», dice Gabriele Cremonese dell’Inaf di Padova, co-pi dello strumento e responsabile per la generazione e archiviazione delle immagini 3D

  • È in corso in questi giorni a Berlino il secondo congresso “Mars Sample Return”: un incontro fra esperti da tutto il mondo per progettare una campagna d’esplorazione spaziale che abbia l’obiettivo di riportare sulla Terra campioni marziani. Ce ne parla John Robert Brucato

  • Gli astronomi ritenevano che questo tipo di eventi iniziasse solo circa tre miliardi di anni dopo il Big Bang, perciò sono rimasti molto sorpresi nel constatare che le nuove osservazioni mostravano che invece avvengono quando l'universo è più giovane: circa la metà del previsto

  • Un gruppo di ricercatori ha effettuato degli interessanti esperimenti per verificare il trasferimento di H₂O da un bolide impattatore a un corpo planetario. In pratica: come è arrivata l'acqua sulla Terra? E come avviene la "consegna" di acqua da un corpo roccioso a un altro?

  • Marcella Marconi, direttrice dell'Osservatorio astronomico dell’Inaf a Napoli, e Sofia Randich, direttrice dell'Osservatorio astrofisico dell’Inaf a Firenze, terranno questa sera, mercoledì 25 aprile, una conferenza congiunta nella sede dello Hubble Space Telescope sulla seconda release dei dati di Gaia

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