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, PLATO, 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.
For detailed information about the 4MOST project please visit our 4MOST website.