Optical/infrared telescopes available to UK astronomers (2017 September)


 

This is a list and basic details of the ground-based optical and infrared observing facilities which accept applications for telescope time from UK astronomers. Specialist instruments such as interferometers and coronographers are not included. The list is sorted according to observing type and wavelength domain, and includes basic details on each instrument (resolution, field size, etc). All information on this page is supplied without guarantee of correctness.

This webpage includes all of the telescopes available via OPTICON.

Quite a few other telescopes not included here (e.g. Keck, Magellan, LBT) offer small numbers of nights to the general astronomical community through various schemes.

 


Northern hemisphere (La Palma):     WHT     INT     ----     NOT     ----     TNG     ----     LT     ----     TCS
Northern hemisphere (other):         CAHA:     3.5m     2.2m     1.23m     ----     OHP:     1.93m     1.20m     ----     TBL 2.0m     ----     Aristarchos 2.3m     ----     CFHT
Southern hemisphere (ESO):         Paranal:     VLT1     VLT2     VLT3     VLT4     VISTA     VST     ----     La Silla:     3.6m     NTT     2.2m MPI
Southern hemisphere (other):         SAAO:     SALT     1.9m     1.0m     ----     AAT    
US facilities (apply via NOAO):         KPNO:     4m     WIYN 3.5     WIYN 0.9     ----     CTIO:     4.0m     SOAR     1.3m     0.9m


Overview of capabilities


Optical imaging

Optical spectroscopy

Optical échelle spectroscopy

Infrared imaging

Infrared spectroscopy

Infrared échelle spectroscopy

 


Optical wavelengths Infrared wavelengths

Imaging Spectroscopy Échelle spec. Imaging Spectroscopy Échelle spec.
 
 
      La Palma   (Spain)
  WHT 4.2m ACAM ISIS   ACAM
LIRIS LIRIS
  INT 2.5m WFC IDS



  NOT 2.5m ALFOSC   MOSCA   StanCam ALFOSC FIES NOTCAM
NOTCAM

  TNG 3.6m DOLORES DOLORES HARPS-North NICS NICS GIANO
  LT 2.0m RISE   RINGO3   IO:O FRODOspec   SPRAT   LOTUS
IO:I


  TCS (Teide) FastCam

CAIN-3

 
 
      Calar Alto   (Spain)
  3.5m LAICA   MOSCA MOSCA   PMAS CARMENES Omega-2000
CARMENES
  2.2m BUSCA   CAFOS   AstraLux CAFOS CAFE PANIC

  1.23m CCD




 
 
      Haute-Provence and Pic du Midi   (France)
  OHP 1.93m
CARELEC SOPHIE


  OHP 1.20m CCD




  TBL 2.0m

NARVAL


 
 
      Helmos   (Greece)
  2,3m Aristarchos LN   LN2   VEC   RISE2 ATS



 
 
      CFHT   (Hawaii)
  3.6m CFHT WFCAM SITELLE ESPaDOnS WIRCAM

 
 
      European Southern Observatory   (Paranal, Chile)
  VLT UT1 FORS2 FORS2
NACO NACO   KMOS
  VLT UT2 X-SHOOTER
FLAMES / GIRAFFE
UVES
FLAMES / UVES


X-SHOOTER
  VLT UT3 SPHERE/ZIMPOL

VISIR
SPHERE/IRDIS
VISIR
SPHERE/IRDIS
SPHERE/IFS
VISIR
  VLT UT4
MUSE
HAWK-I SINFONI
  VISTA


VIRCAM

  VST OmegaCAM




 
 
      European Southern Observatory   (La Silla, Chile)
  3.6m

HARPS


  NTT 3.6m EFOSC2
ULTRACAM
EFOSC2
SofI SofI
  2.2m MPI WFI
FEROS


  0.6m REM ROS2
REMIR


 
 
      South African Astronomical Observatory (Sutherland, SA)
  SALT SALTICAM   BVIT RSS HRS


  1.9m Radcliffe CCD   SHOC   HIPPO SpUpNIC



  1.0m CCD   SHOC




 
 
      Australian Astronomical Observatory   (Siding Springs, Australia)
  4.0m AAT
AAOmega   HERMES   SAMI UCLES IRIS2 IRIS2
 
 
      Kitt Peak National Observatory   (Arizona, USA)
  4m Mayall MOSAIC-3 KOSMOS
NEWFIRM

  WIYN 3.5m ODI Bench spectrograph
WHIRC

  WIYN 0.9m HDI




 
 
      Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory   (Chile)
  4m Blanco DECam COSMOS


ARCoIRS
  4.1m SOAR SOI   Goodman Goodman
SPARTAN

  1.3m ANDICAM

ANDICAM

  0.9m CCD




 

Imaging Spectroscopy Échelle spec. Imaging Spectroscopy Échelle spec.

Optical wavelengths Infrared wavelengths

 


Telescope availability and applying for time

Many of the application deadlines are general guidelines only, based on experience from previous years. Anyone wishing to submit an application should confirm these dates (and all other relevant information) directly on the official webpages of the telescope concerned. You have been warned!

Telescopes Deadlines Semesters Notes
  WHT
 
INT
~15 September
~15 March
1 February to 31 July
1 August to 31 January
UK astronomers have ~40% share (but decreasing) on these telescopes.
  ESO ~31 March
~27 September
1 October to 31 March
1 April to 30 September
The UK is a member of ESO so can apply for all ESO telescopes.
The 2.2m MPI telescope at La Silla is only available via OPTICON.
  LT ~15 September
4 April
1 February to 31 July
1 August to 31 January
UK astronomers have a share on this telescope through PATT.
  AAT ~28 August
~28 February
1 February to 31 July
1 August to 31 January
UK astronomers can apply via OPTICON.
  NOT ~28 August
~28 February
1 October to 31 March
1 April to 31 September
UK astronomers can apply via OPTICON.
  TNG ~28 August
~28 February
1 August to 31 January
1 February to 30 July
UK astronomers can apply via OPTICON.
  TCS (Teide) ~28 August
~28 February
1 August to 31 January
1 February to 30 July
UK astronomers can apply via OPTICON.
  OHP ~28 August
~28 February
1 March to 31 August
1 September to 28 February
UK astronomers can apply via OPTICON for the 1.93m and 1.20m telescopes.
  Calar Alto ~1 September
~1 March
1 July to 31 December
1 Jan to 30 June
UK astronomers can apply via OPTICON.
Observing time can be bought at the 2.2m and 1.23m telescopes.
  Aristarchos ~28 August 1 January to 31 March UK astronomers can apply via OPTICON.
  REM ~28 August
~28 February
1 April to 31 August
1 September to 31 March
UK astronomers can apply via OPTICON.
  CFHT ~28 August
~28 February
1 February to 31 July
1 August to 31 January
UK astronomers can apply via OPTICON.
  SAAO 15 September
15 January
15 May
January to April
May to August
September to December
A "certain percentage" of time goes to astronomers of any nationality. This does not apply to SALT.
  CTIO ~31 March
~30 September
August to January
February to July
Available through NOAO. Non-US astronomers must justify why they need to use US facilities (i.e. why they cannot use other facilities which are available to them).
  KPNO ~31 March
~30 September
August to January
February to July
Available through NOAO. Non-US astronomers must justify why they need to use US facilities (i.e. why they cannot use other facilities which are available to them).

 


Basic details of telescopes and instruments

 


Optical imaging

Optical spectroscopy

Optical échelle spectroscopy

Infrared imaging

Infrared spectroscopy

Infrared échelle spectroscopy

 


La Palma

Isaac Newton Group (ING)

4.2m William Herschel Telescope (WHT)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
ACAM Optical imaging U B V R I Z plus narrow-band filters 0.25 arcsec/px AUXCAM (2048 × 4096 EEV CCD) circular, 8.3 arcmin in diameter Always mounted except for when the prime focus is in use, so is good for over-rides and ToOs.
ACAM Low-resolution spectroscopy 3500 to 9000 Å R ~ 250-900 depending on slit and wavelength AUXCAM (2048 × 4096 EEV CCD) 5.8 arcmin long slit Always mounted except for when the prime focus is in use, so is good for over-rides and ToOs.
ISIS Long-slit spectroscopy Blue: 3500 to 5100 Å
Red: 5400 to 10000 Å
Blue: 0.11 to 1.62 Å/px
Red: 0.26 to 1.81 Å/px
Blue: EEV 4k × 2k CCD
Red: REDPLUS 4k × 2k
Either arm: an L3CCD is available.
3.7 arcmin slit length It has a dichroic, and does observations in the blue and red arms simultaneously
LIRIS IR imaging 0.8 to 2.5 micron 0.25 arcsec/px HgCdTe 1k × 1k array 4.27 × 4.27 arcmin
LIRIS Low-resolution IR spectroscopy 0.8 to 2.5 micron R = 700 to 2500 HgCdTe 1k × 1k array long slits available

PFIP is no longer available and will be replaced with a new instrument, PAUCam. See here for a page summarising a community poll organised by ING as part of their planning process.

2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
WFC Wide field imaging 3500 to 9000 Å
(many filters available)
0.33 arcsec/px Mosaic of four EEV 4k × 2k CCDs 34.2 × 34.2 arcmin (in an L shape) Readout time 40s. Binning and windowing is now available.
IDS Long-slit spectroscopy 3500 to 9000 Å 0.24 to 3.7 Å/px EEV 4k × 2k CCD or
REDPLUS 4k × 2k
3.3 arcmin slit width 235mm camera is available.
500mm camera no longer offered.

2.5m Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
MOSCA
Mosaic Camera
Optical imaging UBVRI ugriz uvbyβ 0.11 arcsec/px Mosaic of four Loral 2k × 2k CCDs 7.7 × 7.7 arcmin Readout time 113s (unbinned) or 37s (2×2 binning).
StanCam Optical imaging U B V R I 0.176 arcsec/px TEK 1k × 1k CCD 3 × 3 arcmin Permanently mounted. Also used as slit viewer for FIES. Readout time 43s (unbinned) or 16s (2×2).
ALFOSC Optical imaging 3200 to 9100 Å 0.19 arcsec/px EEV 2k × 2k 5 to 7 arcmin depending on the filter Also does polarimetry.
ALFOSC Grism spectroscopy 3200 to 11000 Å R = 190 to 10000 EEV 2k × 2k Roughly 5 arcmin Also has a multi-object spectroscopy mode. Readout time 90s (unbinned) or 32s (2×2). Also does polarimetry.
FIES Optical échelle spectroscopy 4000 to 8300 Å R = 25 000, 45 000 or 65 000 EEV 2k × 2k CCD Poor response in the blue. Can do a simultaneous Th-Ar calibration.
NOTCAM IR imaging 0.8 to 2.5 micron 0.23 or 0.08 arcsec/px HgCdTe 1k × 1k array 4×4 arcmin or 82×82 arcsec Also does polarimetry.
NOTCAM IR grism spectroscopy 0.8 to 2.5 micron R = 2500 or 5500 HgCdTe 1k × 1k array Slit length 4 arcmin or 80 arcsec

3.6m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
DOLORES Optical imaging UBVRI and ugriz
plus additional filters
0.275 arcsec/px Loral 2k × 2k CCD 9.4 × 9.4 arcmin Readout time 20s (unbinned) or 6s (2×2 binning).
DOLORES Optical low-resolution spectroscopy 3700 to 10000 Å R = 300 to 5000 Loral 2k × 2k CCD 9.4 arcmin field for MOS. Can do multi-object spectroscopy. Readout time 20s (unbinned) or 6s (2×2 binning) for full CCD.
HARPS-North Optical échelle spectroscopy 3830 to 6900 Å R = 115 000 Two EEV 4k × 2k CCDs Fibre opening is 1 arcsec diameter. Simultaneous Th-Ar mode allows wavelength stability of 0.5 m/s.
NICS IR imaging 0.9 to 2.5 micron 0.25 to 0.04 arcsec/px HgCdTe 1k × 1k array 4.2×4.2 to 0.7×0.7 arcmin Has two different cameras. Can do polarimetry.
NICS IR grism spectroscopy 0.9 to 2.5 micron 2 to 100 Å/px HgCdTe 1k × 1k array Can do spectropolarimetry.
GIANO IR échelle spectroscopy 0.95 to 2.45 μm R = 50 000 HAWAII2 2k × 2k CCDs Fibre opening is 1 arcsec diameter. Simultaneous Th-Ar mode allows wavelength stability of 0.5 m/s.

2.0m robotic Liverpool Telescope (LT)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
IO:O Optical imaging ugriz, BV, Hα filters 0.15 arcsec/px Fairchild 4k × 4k CCD 10 × 10 arcmin
RISE Optical high-speed imaging 7200 Å long-pass filter (roughly I+z) 0.54 arcsec/px EEV frame-transfer CCD 9.2 × 9.2 arcmin Readout speed is "less than a second".
RINGO3 Optical simultaneous three-band high-speed polarimetry Blue (3500 to 6400 Å), green (6500 to 7600 Å), red (7700 to 10000 Å) 0.47, 0.47, 0.49 arcsec/px Three electron-multiplying CCDs, 512×512 pixels 4.3, 4.2, 5.1 arcmin diameter (unvignetted field) Does imaging polarimetry using a rotating polaroid in three passbands simultaneously. The passbands are separated by dichroics.
FRODOspec Optical spectroscopy 3900 to 9400 Å R = 2200 to 5500 CCDs 11 × 11 arcsec Integral-field spectrograph. The red and blue arms can be used simultaneously.
SPRAT Optical spectroscopy 4000 to 8000 Å Dispersion 4.6 Å/px,
resolution approx 18 Å
Andor iDus CCD 1.8 × 95 arcsec slit Low-resolution and high-throughput for observing transients
LOTUS Blue-optical spectroscopy 3200 to 6300 Å Dispersion 4.7 Å/px Starlight Xpress SX35 CCD 2.5×95 and 5.0×25 arcsec slits Low resolution. Its throughput is better than SPRAT for 3200-4200 Å, but much worse at redder wavelengths.
IO:I Infrared imaging H filter (could change to J in future semesters) 0.184 arcsec/px 2k × 2k Hawaii HgCdTe array 6.3 × 6.3 arcmin

 


Mount Teide

1.5m Telescope Carlos Sánchez (TCS)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
FastCam Lucky Imaging I band 0.01 arcsec/px Andor 512×512 pixel CCD 6 × 6 arcseconds
CAIN-3 Near-IR imaging 1 to 2.5 microns 1.0 or 0.39 arcsec/px 256 × 256 pixel HgCdTe array 4.3×4.3 or 1.7×1.7 arcmin

 


Calar Alto

3.5m telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
LAICA Wide-field optical imaging 3400 to 10000 Å 0.225 arcsec/px Mosaic of four 4k × 4k CCDs 44.36 × 44.36 arcmin (requires four observations) CCDs are not butted together, so four observations are needed to fully cover one field.
MOSCA Optical imaging 3300 to 10000 Å 0.33 arcsec/px Normally uses one 4k × 2k CCD 11 × 11 arcmin Also does grism and multi-object spectroscopy.
MOSCA Optical grism spectroscopy with MOS capability 3300 to 10000 Å 1 to 4 Å resolution Normally uses one 4k × 2k CCD 11 × 11 arcmin Also does imaging and multi-object spectroscopy.
PMAS Optical integral-field spectroscopy 3500 to 9000 Å resolution is 0.5 to 2.7 arcsec; dispersion is 0.35 to 1.7 Å/px 4k × 2k CCD, but a 4k × 4k mosiac is under construction 8×8 to 74×65 arcsec
CARMENES Optical+IR échelle spectroscopy VIS channel: 520 to 960 nm
NIR channel: 960 to 1710 nm
R = 82 000 4k×4k e2v CCD (VIS) and two 2k×2k Hawaii-2RG (NIR) Fibre feed VIS and NIR arms operate simultaneously
OMEGA-2000 Wide-field IR imaging zJHK 0.45 arcsec/px HgCdTe 2k × 2k array 15.4 × 15.4 arcmin Mounted at prime focus.

2.2m telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
BUSCA Optical imaging (simultaneous in four bands) Optical wavelengths 0.176 arcsec/px Four 4k × 4k CCDs (the bluemost one thinned) 12 × 12 arcmin Dichroics split the light beam with cut-off wavelengths around 4300, 5300 and 7000 Å.
AstraLux Optical "lucky" imaging 400 to 900 nm 0.044 arcsec/px 512 × 512 pixel electron-multiplying CCD 23 × 23 arcsec Can run faster than 100 Hz with windowing
CAFOS Optical imaging 320 to 1100 nm EEV: 0.53 arcsec/px
Loral: 0.33 arcsec/px
Choice of two 2k × 2k CCDs: EEV (blue-sensitive) or Loral (red-sensitive). EEV: 16 × 16 arcmin
Loral: 10.8 × 10.8 arcmin
Also does polarimetry and spectroscopy.
CAFOS Optical grism spectroscopy Optical wavelengths 2.0 to 9.8 Å/px Choice of two 2k × 2k CCDs: EEV (blue-sensitive) or Loral (red-sensitive). EEV: 16 × 16 arcmin
Loral: 10.8 × 10.8 arcmin
Also does imaging and spectropolarimetry and multi-object spectroscopy.
CAFE Optical échelle spectroscopy 3900 to 9600 Å (provisional) R = 40 000 to 60 000 (provisional) Andor 2k×2k CCD Has a target and a sky fibre. Fibre entrances subtend 2.4 arcsec Commissioned in May 2011 and details still to be confirmed
PANIC IR imaging 1.0 to 2.5 microns
(zYJHK filters)
0.44 arcsec/px Four Hawaii 2RG 2k × 2k detectors 30 × 30 arcmin CCD mosaic gaps are 167 pixels wide

1.23m telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
CCD Optical imaging BVRI plus other CAHA filters 0.32 arcsec/px DLR-MkIII e2v CCD 16 × 16 arcmin (BVRI)
11 × 11 arcmin (other CAHA filters)
Operated remotely and available for a given cost per night.

The observatory also has a 0.8m Schmidt telescope which is no longer used, and a 1.5m telescope which is operated by a separate group and used only intermittently.

MAGIC is available only at the 2.2m at present, but may become available at the 3.5m and 1.23m as well.

 


Observatoire de Haute-Provence

1.93m telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
CARELEC Long-slit spectroscopy 3500 to 9000 Å R = 450 to 5400 EEV 2k × 1k CCD 5.5 arcmin slit length  
SOPHIE Optical échelle spectroscopy 3872 to 6943 Å R = 75 000 or 40 000 EEV 4k × 2k CCD Fibre-fed High stability for velocity measurements to 3-4 m/s

1.20m telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
CCD imager Optical imaging
0.38 arcsec/px Andor iKon L936 13.1 × 13.1 arcmin

 


Observatoire Pic du Midi

2.0m Télescope Bernard Lyot

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
NARVAL
(see also here)
Optical échelle spectropolarimetry 3700 to 10000 Å R = 65 000 (pol)
R = 80 000 (spec)
EEV 4.5k × 2k CCD Fibre-fed High stability allows velocity measurements to 10-20 m/s

 


2.3m Aristarchos Telescope (Helmos, Greece)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
LN Optical imaging Optical 0.28 arcsec/px 1k×1k SITe CCD 4.8 × 4.8 arcmin
LN2 Optical imaging Optical 0.16 arcsec/px 2k×2k e2v CCD 5.5 × 5.5 arcmin
VEC Optical imaging Optical 0.17 arcsec/px 4k×4k Fairchild CCD 10 × 10 arcmin
RISE2 High-speed imaging V+R filter 0.6 arcsec/px 1k×1k e2v EMCCD 10 × 10 arcmin
ATS Optical spectroscopy 4000 to 7250 Å 1.3 to 3.2 Å 1k×1k Apogee CCD 10 arcsec fibre bundle Transient object spectroscopy

 


3.6m Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
MegaPrime/MegaCam Optical wide-field imaging ugriz 0.187 arcsec/px Mosaic of 36 2k×4.6k CCDs arranged in a 4×9 matrix 0.96 × 0.94 degrees CCD mosaic is tightly packed (CCDs are separated by a small fraction of their individual sizes)
SITELLE Optical integral-field spectroscopy 350 to 900 nm R = 1 to 10 000 Two 2k×2k CCDs 11 × 11 arcmin field 0.32 arcsec/pixel well samples the typical 0.8 arcsec seeing at this telescope
ESPaDOnS
(main homepage)
Optical échelle spectropolarimetry 3700 to 10000 Å R = 68 000 (pol)
R = 80 000 (spec)
EEV 4.5k × 2k CCD Fibre-fed High stability allows velocity measurements to 10-20 m/s
WIRCAM Infrared wide-field imaging YJHKs 0.306 arcsec/px Mosaic of four HAWAII 2k × 2k arrays 21.5 × 21.5 arcmin CCD mosaic is tightly packed (CCDs are separated by a small fraction of their individual sizes)

 


European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Paranal observatory (VLT)

8.2m VLT Unit Telescope 1 (Antu)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
FORS2 Optical imaging Optical, but lowish blue sensitivity 0.25 or 0.125 arcsec/px Mosaic of two MIT (red-sensitive) or EEV (blue-sensitive) 2k × 4k CCDs 6.8 × 6.8 arcmin or 4.25 × 4.25 arcmin Now has the polarimetry module which was on FORS1.
FORS2 Optical grism spectroscopy Optical, but lowish blue sensitivity Å R = 260 to 2600 Mosaic of two MIT (red-sensitive) or EEV (blue-sensitive) 2k × 4k CCDs 6.8 × 6.8 arcmin Also does multi-object spectroscopy. Now has the polarimetry module and some grisms from FORS1.
NAOS-CONICA IR imaging 1 to 5 microns 0.0133 to 0.0547 arcsec/px 1k × 1k Aladin InSb array 14×14 to 56×56 arcsec Usually requires the NAOS adaptive optics. Also does polarimetry.
NAOS-CONICA IR grism spectroscopy 1 to 5 microns R = 400 to 1700 1k × 1k Aladin InSb array 14×14 to 56×56 arcsec Requires the NAOS adaptive optics. Also does polarimetry.
KMOS IR multiple integral field spectroscopy 0.8 to 2.5 μm R = 2000-4200 Three HgCdTe 2k×2k Hawaii detectors 24 IFUs, each 2.8×2.8 arcsec 24 deployable IFUs each cover 2.8×2.8 arcsec in a 14×14 pixel layout.

The CRIRES infrared échelle spectrograph is out of action until 2017 for upgrading to a cross-dispersed configuration.

8.2m VLT Unit Telescope 2 (Kueyen)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
X-SHOOTER Simultaneous optical-IR échelle spectroscopy 3000 to 5595 Å,
5595 to 10240 Å,
10240 to 24800 Å
R = 4500 (blue/IR)
R = 7000 (red)
EEV 4k × 2k CCD (blue), 4k × 2k MIT/LL CCD (red), 2k × 1k Hawaii (IR) 12 arcsec long slit, plus the option of an image-slicer IFU to improve resolution. Covers 0.3 to 2.5 μm in one exposure using three arms. Optimised for throughput, with a total efficiency of 30%.
FLAMES / GIRAFFE Optical multi-object and integral-field spectroscopy 3700 to 9500 Å R = 10 000 or 25 000 EEV 2k × 4k CCD Deployable IFU allows spectroscopy of 15 objects, each with 20 microlenses (totalling 2×3 arcsec).
ARGUS IFU allows spectroscopy of one object using 22×14 microlenses (6.6×4.2 or 11.5×7.3 arcsec).
MEDUSA fibres allow 132 spectra to be obtained in one exposure, covering the 25 arcmin field.
FLAMES / UVES Optical multi-object échelle spectroscopy Red optical wavelengths R = 47 000 See UVES entry (uses red arm only) Up to 8 fibres are available per exposure FLAMES feeds 6 or 8 fibres to the entrance slit of the UVES spectrograph.
UVES Optical échelle spectroscopy 3000 to 5000 (blue) and 4200 to 11 000 (red) Å R = 40 000 to 110 000 Blue: EEV 4k×2k CCD
Red: Mosaic of two 4k×2k CCDs
Long slit length 10 arcsec maximum. Has a blue and a red arm, which can either operated separately or simultaneously using a dichroic.

8.2m VLT Unit Telescope 3 (Melipal)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
VISIR Mid-IR imaging 8-13 and 17-24 microns 0.045 or 0.076 arcsec/px 1k×1k Raytheon Aquarius IBC 40×40 or 62×62 arcsec
VISIR Mid-IR spectroscopy 8-13 and 17-24 microns R = 350, 3200 or 25000 1k×1k Raytheon Aquarius IBC 32 arcsec long slit
SPHERE/ZIMPOL Extreme-AO and coronagraphic imaging and polarimetry 500 to 900 nm 7 mas per pixel CCD 3.5×3.5 arcsec
SPHERE/IRDIS Extreme-AO and coronagraphic imaging 0.95 to 2.32 microns 12.25 mas pixel scale 2k×1k Hawaii II RG 11×11 arcsec IRDIS and IFS can observe simultaneously using a dichroic to split the light
SPHERE/IRDIS Extreme-AO and coronagraphic long-slit spectroscopy 0.95 to 2.32 microns R = 50 or R = 350 2k×1k Hawaii II RG 11 arcsec slit (spec) IRDIS and IFS can observe simultaneously using a dichroic to split the light
SPHERE/IFS Extreme-AO and coronagraphic integral-field spectroscopy 0.95 to 1.65 microns R = 50 or R = 30 2k×2k Hawaii II RG 1.73×1.73 arcsec at 12.25 mas per spaxel IRDIS and IFS can observe simultaneously using a dichroic to split the light

8.2m VLT Unit Telescope 4 (Yepun)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
MUSE Optical integral field spectroscopy 500 nm to 900 nm R = 1750 at 500 nm to R = 3500 at 900 nm 24 4k×4k MIT/LL CCDs 1×1 arcmin at present Will have adaptive optics in future.
HAWK-I IR imaging 0.85 to 2.55 microns 0.1063 arcsec/px Mosaic of four Hawaii 2k × 2k detectors 7.5×7.5 arcmin
SINFONI IR integral field spectroscopy 1.1 to 2.45 microns Spatial: 0.025-0.25 arcsec. Spectral: R = 1500 to 4000 2k × 2k Hawaii 2RG detector 8×8 or 3×3 or 0.8×0.8 arcsec Has adaptive optics. SINFONI is likely to be decommissioned during 2019.

4m VISTA Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
VIRCAM Near-infrared wide-field imaging Z Y J H Ks 0.339 arcsec/px Mosaic of 16 2k×2k HgCdTe detectors 1.65 degress in diameter The CCDs are not butted together and require four pointings to cover the full field of view without gaps.

2.6m VST VLT Survey Telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
OmegaCAM Optical wide-field imaging U B V R I z 0.21 arcsec/px Mosaic of 32 4k×2k CCDs 1×1 degrees

Other facilities at Paranal

The VLT also has a well-developed interferometric capibility, which can either use several of the Unit Telescopes or the dedicated 2m Auxiliary Telescopes. Details of these facilities can be found from the Paranal instruments page.

 

La Silla Observatory

3.6m telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
HARPS Optical échelle spectroscopy 3780 to 6910 Å R = 120 000. Also has wider fibre for higher throughput. Two EEV 4k × 2k CCDs Fibre opening is 1 arcsec diameter. Simultaneous Th-Ar mode allows wavelength stability of 0.5 m/s. Also does spectropolarimetry.

3.6m New Technology Telescope (NTT)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
ULTRACAM Optical high-speed simultaneous three-band imaging u in blue arm, g in green arm, choice of r,i,z in red arm 0.35 arcsec/px Three 1k × 1k frame-transfer CCDs 6 × 6 arcmin Operates as a PI instrument, not a common-user instrument.
EFOSC2 Optical imaging 3500 to 11000 Å 0.12 arcsec/px Loral 2k × 2k CCD 4.1 × 4.1 arcmin Also does long-slit and multi-object spectroscopy and polarimetry.
EFOSC2 Optical grism spectroscopy 3200 to 11000 Å 0.92 to 6.66 Å/px
VPH: R = 4000
Loral 2k × 2k CCD Up to 4.1 × 4.1 arcmin depending on grism Also does imaging and multi-object spectroscopy and polarimetry.
SofI IR imaging 0.9 to 2.55 microns 0.144, 0.273 or 0.288 arcsec/px 1k × 1k Hawaii HgCdTe array 2.4×2.4 to 4.9×4.9 arcmin Also does spectroscopy and imaging polarimetry.
SofI IR grism spectroscopy 0.9 to 2.55 microns R = 600 to 2200 1k × 1k Hawaii HgCdTe array Also does imaging and imaging polarimetry.

2.2m MPI telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
WFI Optical imaging 3300 to 10000 Å 0.238 arcsec/px Mosaic of eight 4k×2k CCDs 34 × 33 arcmin Readout time 27s.
FEROS Optical échelle spectroscopy 3500 to 9200 Å R = 48 000 EEV 4k×2k CCD Fibre entrances subtend 2.0 arcsec High-efficiency, fixed-format instrument. A second fibre can be used for simultaneous sky or ThAr observations.

As of period 92 (October 2013 to March 2014) the 2.2m telescope is no longer available via ESO's standard application process.

The Max Planck Institute operate the seven-band simultaneous imager GROND, which is not a facility instrument.

Rapid Eye Mount (REM)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
WFI Simultaneous optical and IR imaging g, r, i, z
1 to 2.3 μm
0.58 arcsec/px (optical)
1.2 arcsec/px (IR)
One optical CCD and one Hawaii IR detection 9.1 × 9.1 arcmin Robotic operation. Five bands observed simultaneously (g, r, i, z plus one IR band)

 


Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO)

4m Mayall telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
MOSAIC imager Optical wide-field imaging 3500 to 9500 Å 0.26 arcsec/px Mosaic of four LBNL 4k × 4k CCDs 36 × 36 arcmin Read-out time 30 or 40s.
KOSMOS Optical single or multi-object spectroscopy 3500 to 10275 Å R ≈ 660 to 3300 E2V or LBNL CCD 5 × 10 arcmin Has multi-object capability
NEWFIRM IR imaging 1 to 2.3 micron 0.4 arcsec/px Mosaic of four InSb 2k × 2k pixel arrays 28×28 arcmin

3.5m WIYN telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
ODI Optical wide-field imaging 3300 to 9700 Å 0.11 arcsec/px Mosaic of thirty OTA CCDs 1 square degree (approximately half-filled) The CCDs are orthogonal transfer
Bench spectrograph Optical multi-object spectroscopy 3500 to 9000 Å 0.15 to 8.9 Å STA1 2600×4000 CCD Up to 1 degree field (with HYDRA) Fed by HYDRA (up to 100 objects). Also can do IFU with HexPak, GradPak and SparsePak units.
WHIRC IR imaging J H Ks 0.1 arcsec/px VIRGO HgCdTe 2k × 2k pixel array 3.3×3.3 arcmin Can do long-slit spectroscopy too. Can also be used on the 4m telescope.

0.9m WIYN telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
HDI Optical wide-field imaging 3300 to 9700 Å 0.43 arcsec/px 4k × 4k CCD 29.2 × 29.2 arcmin Name: Half Degree Imager

 


Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO)

The 1.5m and 1.3m telescopes are operated entirely in service/queue mode. The 1.3m was originally for 2MASS. The 1.0m is classical observing only, whereas the 0.9m is mixed classical/service observing. All four small telescope (1.5m, 1.3m, 1.0m, 0.9m) are owned and operated by the SMARTS Consortium.

4m Blanco telescope (Cerro Tololo)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
DECam Optical very-wide-field imaging grizy filter s 0.27 arcsec/px Mosaic of 62 SITe 2k×4k CCDs 2.2 degree field (3.0 deg.sq. in total) For the Dark Energy Survey project.
COSMOS Optical single or multi-object spectroscopy 3500 to 10275 Å R ≈ 660 to 3300 E2V or LBNL CCD 5 × 10 arcmin Has multi-object capability
ARCoIRIS IR échelle spectroscopy 0.80 to 2.47 microns R ≈ 3500 Hawaii HgCdTe 2k × 2k array slit width 1.1 arcsec, length 28 arcsec all wavelength range is observed simultaneously

4.1m SOAR telescope (Cerro Pachon)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
SOI Optical imaging 3100 to 10500 Å 0.077 arcsec/px Mosaic of two EEV 4k × 2k CCDs 5.25 × 5.25 arcmin
Goodman Optical imaging 3200 to 8500 Å 0.15 arcsec/px Mosaic of two UL/LL 4k × 2k CCDs 7.2 arcmin diameter circle
Goodman Optical grating spectroscopy R = 1400 to 6000 0.15 arcsec/px Mosaic of two UL/LL 4k × 2k CCDs 5 × 2.5 arcmin Can do multi-object spectroscopy.
SPARTAN IR imaging JHK 0.066 or 0.040 arcsec/px Four Hawaii HgCdTe 2k × 2k arrays 5.04×5.04 or 3.05×3.05 arcmin

1.3m telescope (Cerro Tololo)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
ANDICAM Optical/IR imaging UBVRI and YJHK 0.185 and 0.137 arcsec/px Fairchild 2k×2k CCD and Hawaii HgCdTe 1k×1k IR array 6.3×6.3 and 2.4×2.4 arcmin Observes in the optical and IR simultaneously

0.9m telescope (Cerro Tololo)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
CCD Optical imaging UBVRI and similar 0.396 arcsec/px 2k × 2k CCD 13.5 × 13.5 arcmin CCD can be read out through 1, 2 or 4 amplifiers.

 


South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)

11m Southern African Large Telescope (SALT)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
SALTICAM Optical imaging 3200 to 9500 Å 0.12 arcsec/px Mosaic of two EEV 4k × 2k CCDs 8×8 arcmin Optimised for the blue. Has a high-speed capability.
BVIT Optical high-speed imaging 4000 to 8500 Å 30 microns at the focal plane Super Gen II photocathode 1.9×1.9 arcmin
Robert Stobie Spectrograph Optical slit spectroscopy 3200 to 9000 Å R = 250 to 5500 (up to 9000 with a 0.6 arcsec slit) Mosaic of two EEV 4k × 2k CCDs 8 arcmin slit length Optimised for the blue.
HRS Optical échelle spectroscopy 3700 to 8900 Å R = 14 000, 40 000 or 65 000 2k×4k CCD (blue arm) and 4k×4k CCD (red arm) 1.6 and 2.2 arcsec diameter optical fibres The blue and red arms operate simultaneously

1.9m Radcliffe Telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
SHOC Optical imaging Optical wavelengths 0.076 or 0.163 arcsec/px 1k × 1k Andor frame-transfer EMCCD 1.29×1.29 arcmin or 2.79×2.79 arcmin Larger field of view needs the focal reducer
HIPPO Optical imaging and polarimetry Optical wavelengths photomultiplier tubes photomultiplier tubes two apertures available
SpUpNIC Optical grating spectroscopy 3500 to 10000 Å 0.5 to 5.0 Å resolution CCD n/a

1.0m telescope

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
STE4 CCD camera Optical imaging UBVRI, ugriz, and narrow-band filters 0.31 arcsec/px STE4 1k × 1k CCD 5.3×5.3 arcmin Not currently available on the 1.9m telescope.
STE3 CCD camera Optical imaging UBVRI, ugriz, and narrow-band filters 0.31 arcsec/px STE3 512 × 512 CCD 2.6×2.6 arcmin Not currently available on the 1.9m telescope.
SHOC Optical imaging Optical wavelengths 0.167 arcsec/px 1k × 1k Andor frame-transfer EMCCD 2.85 × 2.85 arcmin

 


Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) (Siding Springs)

3.9m Australian Astronomical Telescope (AAT)

Instrument Mode Wavelength coverage Resolution Detector Field of view Details
AAOmega Optical multi-object spectroscopy 3700 to 8500 Å R = 1200 to 10000 Mosaic of two 4k × 2k CCDs Field of view is 2 degrees, fibres have 2 arcsec entrance. Fed by either 2dF (392 deployable fibres) or KOALA (1000-element integral-field unit covering 24×18 or 32×32 arcsec).
HERMES Optical multi-object spectroscopy Simultaneous observations at 4715-4900Å, 5649-5873Å, 6478-6737Å and 7585-7887Å R = 28000, or R=50000 with a narrow slit Mosaic of two 4k × 2k CCDs Field of view is 2 degrees Fed by the 2dF fibre positioner, which places up to 392 fibres in the field of view
SAMI Optical multi-object IFU spectroscopy 3300 to 9000 Å R = 1000, 5000 or 10 000 Fibres go to the AAOmega spectrograph 13 IFUs, each with 61 fibres over a 15 arcsec field, deployable over a 1 degree field of view Fibres go to the AAOmega spectrograph
UCLES Optical échelle spectroscopy Optical wavelengths R = 40 000 to 120 000 Choice of EEV 4k × 2k CCD (blue-sensitive) or MIT-LL 4k × 2k CCD (red-sensitive) The CYCLOPS fibre feed has a diameter of 3 arcsec on the sky Choice of two dispersive gratings
IRIS2 IR imaging 0.9 to 2.5 microns 0.45 arcsec/px HgCdTe 1k × 1k array 7 × 7 arcmin Also does spectroscopy. Can use the AO system.
IRIS2 IR grism spectroscopy 0.9 to 2.5 microns R = 2400 HgCdTe 1k × 1k array 7 × 7 arcmin Does multi-object or long-slit spectroscopy.