Español | English
April 1, 2023


All about GTC

Scientific instrumentation


EMIR (Espectrógrafo Multiobjeto InfraRrojo,Infrared Multiobject Spectrograph) is a wide-field, near-infrared, multi-object spectrograph. It will be the first of the second-generation instruments and will be a key tool for studying the history of the formation of stars in the Universe.

EMIR is a camera/spectrograph that will work in the near-infrared part of the spectrum and will be used to study warm objects. It will be capable of obtaining images from many different sources simultaneously, using the multi-slit mask method. This method allows astronomers to select the part of the field of view they want to look at, making it possible to observe many different objects of interest at the same time. 

EMIR is an ambitious, and therefore complex, instrument. The challenge faced by its designers is to produce a field of view wide enough to allow many different objects to be observed at the same time, so that many types of project that need to look at large numbers of galaxies or stars can benefit from highly efficient observation. In addition, EMIR will have to be cooled to cryogenic temperatures (-200° C) in order to reduce the thermal infrared background.

EMIR’s development is being led by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, and is currently at the preliminary design stage. The objects it will typically observe are faint galaxies, low-mass stars, young stellar objects, brown dwarfs, HII and star forming regions, distant supernovae, galactic nuclei and primordial galaxies.

TheInstituto de Astrofísica de Canarias is at the head of the consortium that is building EMIR, which includes the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), the Astrophysics Laboratory of the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (LAOMP, France) and the Astrophysics Laboratory of Marseille (LAM, France).