Telescope Instruments: KCWI

Instrument: Keck Cosmic Web Imager
Telescope: Keck II
Wavelength: visible light
Instrument Scientist: Dr. Luca Rizzi
Description: Imager and spectrograph used to map the connection between galaxies and the gas in their dark matter halos, stellar relics, star clusters, and lensed galaxies.
Unique Feature: Performs integral field spectroscopy that captures three-dimensional data in the visible wavelength range. KCWI can do both imaging and spectroscopy in a single observation, recording an image of an object at multiple wavelengths. This allows scientists to study both the spatial dimension of the image and the spectral dimension, or color, of an object.
Research Specialty: Primarily designed to study the cosmic web – the wispy streams of gas that connect galaxies. KCWI can also give a macro view of an entire object as opposed to a singular point, making it powerful for learning how galaxies move and how they interact with other galaxies.
Notable Contributions: Played a key role in successfully zeroing in on the precise location of a non-repeating fast radio burst. This historic feat led to the 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science Newcomb Cleveland Prize, an award that goes to the most impactful research paper published in the journal Science.

“I was involved with the KCWI team early on. I helped to design the user interface in a completely new way, keeping in mind our science community’s needs. Because of this, many observers tell us this is the most pleasant instrument to use.” ~ Dr. Luca Rizzi

Mahalo: Support for this technology was generously provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation.