ESO and GRAVITY+ Consortium Sign Agreement for Design and Construction

Published: 21 Feb 2022

On January 10th 2022, ESO signed an agreement for the design and construction of GRAVITY+, a significant upgrade of the the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) infrastructure and its GRAVITY instrument. The agreement was signed with the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, representing a consortium including MPE, INSU/CNRS, University of Cologne, MPIA, CENTRA, and University of Southampton, in close collaboration with ESO.  

The GRAVITY+ project aims at improving contrast performance, sensitivity, and sky coverage of the ground-breaking GRAVITY instrument. The project will enable reaching limiting magnitudes of K~22 by improving off-axis fringe tracking capabilities, upgrading adaptive optics and adding laser guide stars to UT1, 2 and 3.

Science cases for GRAVITY+ include:

  • The Galactic Center
  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Exoplanets
  • Young suns and their planet-forming disks
  • Microlenses
  • Massive stars
  • Intermediate-mass black holes

More information is available.