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30 September 2004 X-shooter: UV-to-IR intermediate-resolution high-efficiency spectrograph for the ESO VLT
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X-shooter is a single target spectrograph for the Cassegrain focus of one of the VLT UTs. It covers in a single exposure the spectral range from the UV to the H band with a possible extension into part of the K band. It is designed to maximize the sensitivity in this spectral range through the splitting in three arms with optimized optics, coatings, dispersive elements and detectors. It operates at intermediate resolutions (R=4000-14000, depending on wavelength and slit width) sufficient to address quantitatively a vast number of astrophysical applications while working in a background-limited S/N regime in the regions of the spectrum free from strong atmospheric emission and absorption lines. The small number of moving functions (and therefore instrument modes) and fixed spectral format make it easy to operate and permit a fast response. A mini-IFU unit (1.8" x 4") can be inserted in the telescope focal plane and is reformatted in a slit of 0.6"x 12" .The instrument includes atmospheric dispersion correctors in the UV and visual arms. The project foresees the development of a fully automatic data reduction package. The name of the instrument has been inspired by its capability to observe in a single shot a source of unknown flux distribution and redshift. The instrument is being built by a Consortium of Institutes from Denmark, France, Italy and the Netherlands in collaboration with ESO. When it operation, its observing capability will be unique at very large telescopes.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


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