Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) Program

MATISSE (Multi-AperTure mid-Infrared SpectroScopic Experiment):

  • Is designed to be a mid-infrared spectro-interferometer combining the beams of up to four telescopes of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (ESO/VLTI)
  • Will open two new observing windows at the VLTI, the L and M bands in addition to the N band
  • Will measure closure phase relations and thus offer an efficient capability for image reconstruction.

  • With the sufficient sampling of the u-v plane, MATISSE will for the very first time allow image reconstruction at a spatial resolution of 5-10 mas in the mid-infrared wavelength domain. In addition, MATISSE will provide interferometric spectroscopy with a spectroscopic resolutions in the range of R ~ 30-1250, allowing a fundamental analysis of the composition of gases and dust grains in various environments.

    The existence of the 4 x 8m apertures (UTs) will provide the sensitivity limits required by fundamental astrophysical programs such as the study of Active Galactic Nuclei. Moreover, the existence of Auxilliary Telescopes (2m, ATs) which are relocatable at about 30 different stations will allow the exploration of the Fourier plane with up to 200m baseline length. Examplary key science programs using the ATs are

  • Formation and evolution of planetary systems,
  • Birth of massive stars, and
  • Observation of the high-contrast environment of evolved stars.