Telescope Instruments: MOSFIRE

Instrument: Multi-Object Spectrograph for Infrared Exploration
Telescope: Keck I
Wavelength: near-infrared light
Instrument Scientist: Dr. Josh Walawender
Description: Cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph that records dozens of spectra of up to 46 objects at a time, each at varying distances, environments, and physical conditions.
Unique Feature: Uses a cryogenic slit mask unit. Unlike aluminum slit masks, cryogenic slit mask units use programmable rods to allow observers to adjust the field of view in real time, making MOSFIRE an incredibly powerful instrument.
Research Specialty: Observing ultra-distant galaxies.
Notable Contributions: Played a key role in early universe studies, helping to understand the physical conditions of galaxies formed just after the Big Bang.

“My favorite aspect of MOSFIRE is its cryogenic slit mask unit, since it is a rare capability that enables an efficient style of observation.” ~ Dr. Josh Walawender

Mahalo: Support for this technology was generously provided by the National Science Foundation.