VLT Instruments

  • CRIRES (CRyogenic high-resolution InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph) provides a resolving power of up to 100 000 in the spectral range from 1 to 5 μm.
  • FLAMES (Fibre Large Array Multi-Element Spectrograph) offers the unique capability to study simultaneously and at high spectral resolution hundreds of individual stars in nearby galaxies. It is also equipped for integral field spectroscopy.
  • FORS2 (FOcal Reducer and Spectrograph) is a multi-mode instrument that can be used for imaging in the visible and for low-resolution spectroscopy.
  • HAWK-I (High Acuity Wide field K-band Imager) is a near-infrared imager with a relatively large field of view.
  • KMOS (K-band Multi Object Spectrograph) is a near-infrared spectrograph equipped with 24 positionable integral-field units.
  • NACO is an Adaptive Optics facility producing images as sharp as if taken in space. It is also equipped with a spectrometer, polarimeter, coronographs, etc.
  • SINFONI (Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the Near Infrared) is a near-infrared (1 - 2.5 μm) integral field spectrograph fed by an adaptive optics module.
  • UVES (UltraViolet and Visible Echelle Spectrograph) is the high-dispersion spectrograph of the VLT, observing from 300 nm to 1100 nm, with a maximum spectral resolution of 110 000.
  • VIMOS (VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph), a four-channel multiobject spectrograph and imager, allows obtaining low-resolution spectra of up to 1000 galaxies at a time.
  • VIRCAM (VISTA InfraRed CAMera) allows us to see some of the most distant astronomical objects, such as quasars and galaxies from when our Universe was very young.
  • X-shooter is a spectrograph covering a very wide range of wavelengths [UV to near infrared] simultaneously.

Current and planned telescopes and instruments on Paranal

VLTI Instruments

  • MIDI is a MID-infrared Interferometric instrument for photometry and spectroscopy.
  • AMBER is a near infrared Astronomical Multi-Beam combineR — an instrument for photometric and spectroscopic studies, which combines the light of three telescopes.

For detailed descriptions of these instruments, refer to the ESO instruments summary table. This table includes instruments currently in operation.

Many of these instruments have been built, in collaboration with ESO, by consortia of European laboratories. Further details are given on the individual instrument pages.