The second generation VLT instrument MUSE: Science drivers and instrument design

Roland Bacon*, Svend Bauer, Richard Bower, Sylvie Cabrit, Michele Cappellari, Marcella Carollo, Françoise Combes, Roger Davies, Bernard Delabre, Hans Dekker, Julien Devriendt, Slimane Djidel, Michel Duchateau, Jean Pierre Dubois, Eric Emsellem, Pierre Ferruit, Marijn Franx, Gerry Gilmore, Bruno Guiderdoni, François HénaultNorbert Hubin, Bruno Jungwiert, Andreas Kelz, Miska Le Louarn, Ian Lewis, Jean Louis Lizon, Richard Mc Dermid, Simon Morris, Uwe Laux, Olivier Le Fevre, Blandine Lantz, Simon Lilly, James Lynn, Luca Pasquini, Ariette Pêcontal, Patrick Pinet, Dan Popovic, Andreas Quirrenbach, Roland Reiss, Martin Roth, Matthias Steinmetz, Remko Stuik, Luc Wisotzki, Tim De Zeeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) is a second generation VLT panoramic integral-field spectrograph operating in the visible wavelength range. MUSE has a field of 1×1 arcmin2 sampled at 0.2×0.2 arcsec2 and is assisted by a ground layer adaptive optics system using four laser guide stars. The simultaneous spectral range is 0.465-0.93 λm, at a resolution of R-3000. MUSE couples the discovery potential of a large imaging device to the measuring capabilities of a high-quality spectrograph, while taking advantage of the increased spatial resolution provided by adaptive optics. This makes MUSE a unique and tremendously powerful instrument for discovering and characterizing objects that lie beyond the reach of even the deepest imaging surveys. MUSE has also a high spatial resolution mode with 7.5×7.5 arcsec2 field of view sampled at 25 milli-arcsec. In this mode MUSE should be able to get diffraction limited data-cube in the 0.6-1 μm wavelength range. Although MUSE design has been optimized for the study of galaxy formation and evolution, it has a wide range of possible applications; e.g. monitoring of outer planets atmosphere, young stellar objects environment, supermassive black holes and active nuclei in nearby galaxies or massive spectroscopic survey of stellar fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1145-1149
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberPART 2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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