3D and Multi Object Spectroscopy


The spectral analysis of starlight is the main tool for observational astronomy and has been the reason to found the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam in 1874. These days, the 3D and Multi-Object Spectroscopy (3DMOS) programme is dedicated to the development of innovative technologies, new instrumentation, and software tools in two areas:

  • 3D-Spectroscopy (also called Integral-Field or imaging spectroscopy) can map extended objects, such as nebulae, clusters and galaxies. In doing so, spectra are recorded for each point across an image produced by a telescope
  • Multi-Object-Spectroscopy (MOS) is used to efficiently measure a large number of stars and galaxies and thus to enable huge surveys. Technologically this is usually done by placing fibre-optics at the location of the images of the astronomical targets within the telescope focal plane.

Members of 3DMOS engage in international consortia to build instruments for the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and other world-class facilities. In addition, the training of students and young scientists is an integral part of the programme.

Last update: 19. February 2021