MOONS is the next generation optical and near-IR multi-object spectrograph for the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

MOONS will allow to obtain spectra of 1,000 objects simultaneously in the spectral range 0.64-1.8 micron.

I am the Project Scientist and Co-PI of MOONS.

Cambridge contribution

In addition to the science lead, the University of Cambridge (specifically the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, the Department of Physics and the Institute of Astronomy) is contributing to the development of MOONS through the design of the large cameras optomechanics, their assembly, testing and alignment.


In return for the provision of MOONS, the consortium has received an allocation of 300 nights of Guaranteed Observing Time (GTO).

About 200 nights will be dedicated to the extensive extragalactic survey MOONRISE, which will target several hundred thousands distant galaxies with the goal of investigating the processes responsible for their formation and evolution. A summary of the survey is given in this ESO Messenger article.