15 Sep 2023



KMOS (the K-band Multi Object Spectrograph) is a second-generation instrument designed for operation on the Very Large Telescope.

Astronomical instrument KMOS's 24 configurable arms.



KMOS (K-band Multi Object Spectrograph) is a near-infrared multi-object integral-field spectrometer for one of the ESO Very Large Telescopes. This second-generation instrument is an invaluable tool to investigate the physical and environmental processes which shape the formation and evolution of galaxies over time. In fact, its high multiplex capability (up to 24 sources observed simultaneously) is ideal to follow-up large statistical samples of distant galaxies.

The instrument design employs 24 configurable arms that position pick-off mirrors at user-specified locations in the Nasmyth focal plane. The light collected by these pick-off arms is then fed to 24 advanced image slicer integral-field units (IFUs) and then dispersed by three cryogenic grating spectrometers which generate 14x14 spectra for each of the 24 independent sub-units.A scienitst in a lab coat stands in front of  KMOS in the lab at UK ATC. It is a large metal object about 2 meters tall.

KMOS was designed and built by a consortium including the Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, the Universitätssternwarte München, the University of Durham, the University of Oxford, the University of Bristol alongside UK ATC.

UK ATC's major role in KMOS included being responsible for the construction of the cryostat, the robotic pick-off arms, the cable co-rotator and the final assembly of the various sub-systems.

Find out more about KMOS.​