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 studio pubblicato su Nature, basato sulla Renaissance Simulation, presenta una nuova teoria sulla nascita dei primi buchi neri massicci, secondo cui condizioni particolari di aggregazione di materia oscura avrebbero favorito la formazione di buchi neri a scapito della formazione stellare

  • Si intitola “Astri perseguitati” la conferenza-concerto di Fabrizio Bònoli e Marco Padovani in programma domenica 27 a Firenze, nella biblioteca dell’Inaf – Osservatorio astrofisico di Arcetri, in occasione del Giorno della Memoria

  • Includendo Alma in una rete mondiale di radiotelescopi, gli astronomi hanno scoperto che l’emissione radio del buco nero supermassiccio che si trova al centro della nostra galassia proviene da una regione di appena un trentamilionesimo di grado: molto più piccola del previsto. Questo potrebbe anche indicare che il getto radio della sorgente è puntato quasi direttamente verso la Terra. Tutti i dettagli della ricerca su Astrophysical Journal

  • In attesa che il team della missione Hayabusa-2 decida il punto migliore in cui prelevare il campione di terreno da riportare a terra, tredici regioni dell’asteroide Ryugu hanno ora delle denominazioni ufficiali, derivate da racconti tradizionali per l’infanzia

  • Il Very Large Telescope dell’Eso ha catturato il debole, effimero bagliore che emana dalla nebulosa planetaria Eso 577-24: un guscio di gas ionizzato incandescente destinato ad affievolirsi fino a sparire nell’arco di 10mila anni

  • Usando i dati della sonda spaziale Cassini della Nasa, i ricercatori hanno determinato la durata esatta di un giorno su Saturno, pari a 10 ore, 33 minuti e 38 secondi. La risposta a questo mistero scientifico era nascosta nei suoi anelli, che risentono delle oscillazioni del campo gravitazionale provocate da vibrazioni all’interno del pianeta. Tutti i dettagli sono riportati su Astrophysical Journal.

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