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Development of data pipelines for the ELT

Astrophysicists rely on detailed and precise observations of their laboratory, the space. Progress of astrophysics is thus closely related to the development of new and powerful telescopes. Even the first astronomical telescope turned our understanding of the world upside down. Galieo Galilei saw that the presumably immaculate Sun shows dark spots and that Jupiter's moons form a miniature version of our solar system. The development of better telescopes never stopped since this time. Nowadays, with the "Very Large Telescope" of the "European Southern Observatory" (ESO) on Cerro Paranal one of the most advanced obervatories on Earth can be accessed by the Austrian scientists. Four telescopes with 8.2 m primary mirrors and their instruments reveal scientists the sky in the full wavelength range from the ultraviolet to the mid-infrared.

However, not even these giants can answer all our questions. That is why an even larger telescope will be build in the next ten years on Cerro Armazones, a mountain close to Cerro Paranal. Compared to ESO's "Extremely Large Telescope" (ELT) all other telescopes will appear dwarfish. The segmented primary mirror is composed of 798 hexagonal elements and has a diameter of 39 m. Its spatial resolution is several times better than the resolution of any other telescope, and the large light collecting area will even allow spectroscopy of the atmospheres of extraterrestrial planets. However, the full potential of the ELT can only be used, if the instruments that receive light from the telescope, are well matched. The development of suitable cameras and spectrographs is thus one of the challenging tasks that engineers and scientists all over Europe will face in the next decade.

Our group contributes to two instruments of the ELT under the lead of the University of Vienna and in close collaboration with the University of Innsbruck and the University of Linz. MICADO will observe at near-infrared wavelengths and provides diffraction-limited images due to an adaptive optics system. MICADO can thus use the full spatial resolution of the ELT and search for, e.g., extrasolar planets. MICADO will come along with  METIS. This instrument performs photometric and spectroscopic observations in the mid-infrared. In this wavelength regime circumstellar disks, the birthplaces of planets, are bright. Besides supporting the definition of the scientific questions, we focus our work on the reduction of the large amount of data collected by the instruments. For this tasks so-called "pipelines" are developed that semi-automatically produce scientific-grade images and spectra from the raw data.

Contact

Mag.rer.nat. Paul Beck PhD Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 5263

Contact

Mag. Dr. Martin Leitzinger Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 5273

Contact

Mag. Robert Greimel Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 5273

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