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March 22, 2023


All about GTC

Scientific instrumentation


CanariCam (a spectrograph with thermal infrared imaging capability) will be able to ‘sense’ the heat from a star. It will have imaging capacity and will be able to perform spectroscopy, polarimetry and coronography in the mid-infrared part of the spectrum. It will obtain images of distant objects so that their shape, structure and composition can be analysed. It will perform functions that, on other telescopes, would require the use of at least three different instruments. It will be equipped with detectors that will allow it to gather infrared light in the 8 to 25 micron wavelength region.

As a result, CanariCam will be able to observe a wide variety of different objects. It will be particularly useful for searching for brown dwarfs (‘failed’ stars), directly observing planets outside the Solar System and looking deep into the heart of our Galaxy, which it will be able to explore in fine detail and at high resolution.

CanariCam is being designed and built by the University of Florida, with the collaboration of the IAC.