Last week, the participants in the MORISOT (the MOnet Robotic Instrument for the Spectroscopy Of Transients) project met in Potsdam to discuss the final design of this exciting new instrument.

MORISOT will be a fibre-fed low-resolution (R=1000) spectrograph mounted on the MONET/South telescope that will operate independently of the imaging camera.  The science camera will act as an autoguider for the spectrograph, permitting us to obtain low-resolution spectra of quite faint objects.

The consortium brings together several new MONET partners:

  • The spectrograph optics is a spherical transmission grating design of the late Dr. Darragh O'Donnogue (SAAO) with a grating produced by Dr. Christopher Clemens in the Dept. of Physics & Astrononmy of the Univ. of North Carolina.
  • The small integral field unit (a bundle of optical fibres that feeds the light of a small field into the spectrograph) will be constructed by the team at the innoFSPEC photonic centre of the Leibniz Institut für Astrophysik (Potsdam)

The ability of obtain spectra robotically opens up both new scientific uses for the MONET/South telescope as well as new possibilities for the educational use.  The project icon shows an image of the impressionist artist Berthe Morisot painted by Edouard Manet with examples of low-resolution stellar spectra superimposed.