MAVIS: science case, imager, and spectrograph

Simon Ellis*, Richard McDermid, Giovanni Cresci, Christian Schwab, Francois Rigaut, Timothy Chin, Robert Content, Anthony Horton, Mahesh Mohanan, Helen McGregor, Jacob Pember, David Robertson, Lew Waller, Ross Zhelem, Stephanie Monty, Trevor Mendel, Matteo Aliverti, Guido Agapito, Simone Antoniucci, Andrea BalestraAndrea Baruffolo, Maria Bergomi, Andrea Bianco, Marco Bonaglia, Guiseppe Bono, Jean-Claude Bouret, David Brodrick, Lorenzo Busoni, Elena Carolo, Simonetta Chinellato, Jesse Cranney, Gayandhi de Silva, Simone Esposito, Daniela Fantinel, Jacopo Farinato, Thierry Fusco, Gaston Gausachs, James Gilbert, Damien Gratadour, Davide Greggio, Marco Gullieuszik, Pierre Haguenauer, Dionne Haynes, Visa Korkiakoski, Demetrio Magrin, Laura Magrini, Luca Marafatto, Benoit Neichel, Fernando Pedichini, Enrico Pinna, Cedric Plantet, Elisa Portaluri, Kalyan Radhakrishnan Santhakumari, Roberto Ragazzoni, Bernado Salasnich, Stefan Ströbele, Elliott Thorn, Annino Vaccarella, Daniele Vassallo, Valentina Viotto, Frédéric Zamkotsian, Alessio Zanutta, Hao Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The MCAO Assisted Visible Imager and Spectrograph (MAVIS) is a facility-grade visible MCAO instrument, currently under development for the Adaptive Optics Facility at the VLT. The adaptive optics system will feed both an imager and an integral field spectrograph, with unprecedented sky coverage of 50% at the Galactic Pole. The imager will deliver diffraction-limited image quality in the V band, cover a 30" x 30" field of view, with imaging from U to z bands. The conceptual design for the spectrograph has a selectable field-of-view of 2.5" x 3.6", or 5" x 7.2", with a spatial sampling of 25 or 50 mas respectively. It will deliver a spectral resolving power of R=5,000 to R=15,000, covering a wavelength range from 380 - 950 nm. The combined angular resolution and sensitivity of MAVIS fill a unique parameter space at optical wavelengths, that is highly complementary to that of future next-generation facilities like JWST and ELTs, optimised for infrared wavelengths. MAVIS will facilitate a broad range of science, including monitoring solar system bodies in support of space missions; resolving protoplanetary- and accretion-disk mechanisms around stars; combining radial velocities and proper motions to detect intermediate-mass black holes; characterising resolved stellar populations in galaxies beyond the local group; resolving galaxies spectrally and spatially on parsec scales out to 50 Mpc; tracing the role of star clusters across cosmic time; and characterising the first globular clusters in formation via gravitational lensing. We describe the science cases and the concept designs for the imager and spectrograph.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII
EditorsChristopher J. Evans, Julia J. Bryant, Kentaro Motohara
Place of PublicationBellingham, WA
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636828
ISBN (Print)9781510636811
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII - Virtual, United States
Duration: 14 Dec 202022 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Multi-conjugate adaptive optics
  • Imagers
  • Integral field spectrographs
  • Spectrographs
  • Adaptive optics
  • Image slicers


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