Overview

The 4MOST consortium has been selected by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to provide the ESO community with a fibre-fed spectroscopic survey facility on the VISTA telescope with a large enough field-of-view to survey a large frac­tion of the southern sky in a few years. The facility will be able to simultaneously obtain spectra of ~2400 objects distributed over an area of 4 square degrees. This high multiplex of 4MOST, combined with its high spectral resolution, will enable detection of chemical and kinematic substructure in the stellar halo, bulge and thin and thick discs of the Milky Way, thus help unravel the origin of our home galaxy. The instrument will also have enough wavelength coverage to secure velocities of extra-galactic objects over a large range in red­shift, thus enabling measurements of the evolution of galaxies and the structure of the cosmos. This exceptional instrument enables many science goals, but the design is especially intended to complement three key all­-sky, space­-based ob­servatories of prime European interest: Gaia, EUCLID, and eROSITA. Such a facility has been identified as of critical importance in a number of recent European strategic documents (Bode et al., 2008; de Zeeuw & Molster, 2007; Drew et al., 2010; Turon et al., 2008) and forms the perfect com­plement to the many all­-sky survey pro­jects around the world.

 

Science

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4MOST enables many science goals, but our design is especially intended to complement three key all­-sky, space­-based ob­servatories of prime European interest: Gaia, EUCLID, and eROSITA.

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Surveys

To reach maximum impact, 4MOST will operate continuously for a five-year Public Survey delivering ≥25 million spectra over 15 000 square degrees.

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Facility

4MOST layout

The 4MOST facility will be running spectroscopic Public Surveys on VISTA all the time, and consists next to the instrument also of all the software to schedule and observe many surveys in parallel and the Data Management system to reduce, analyze, validate and publish all the data including higher-level data products (radial velocities/redshifts, stellar parameters, abundances, etc.).

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Consortium

The 4MOST consortium consists of 12 institutes in Germany, the UK, the Netherlans, Sweden, and France under leadership of the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik, Potsdam (AIP).

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