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CUBES, the Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph

Cristiani, S.; Alcalá, J.M.; Alencar, S.H.P.; Balashev, S.A.; Bastian, N.; Barbuy, B.; Battino, U.; Calcines, A.; Calderone, G.; Cambianica, P.; Carini, R.; Carter, B.; Cassisi, S.; Castilho, B.V.; Cescutti, G.; Christlieb, N.; Cirami, R.; Coretti, I.; Cooke, R.; Covino, S.; Cremonese, G.; Cunha, K.; Cupani, G.; da Silva, A.R.; De Caprio, V.; De Cia, A.; Dekker, H.; D'Elia, V.; De Silva, G.; Diaz, M.; Di Marcantonio, P.; D'Auria, D.; D'Odorico, V.; Fitzsimmons, A.; Ernandes, H.; Evans, C.; Franchini, M.; Genoni, M.; Gänsicke, B.; Giribaldi, R.E.; Gneiding, C.; Grazian, A.; Hansen, C.J.; La Forgia, F.; Landoni, M.; Lazzarin, M.; Lunney, D.; Maciel, W.; Marcolino, W.; Marconi, M.; Migliorini, A.; Miller, C.; Noterdaeme, P.; Opitom, C.; Pariani, G.; Pilecki, B.; Piranomonte, S.; Quirrenbach, A.; Redaelli, E.M.A.; Pereira, C.B.; Randich, S.; Rossi, S.; Sanchez-Janssen, R.; Seifert, W.; Smiljanic, R.; Snodgrass, C.; Stilz, I.; Stürmer, J.; Vanzella, E.; Ventura, P.; Verducci, O.; Waring, C....

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S. Cristiani

J.M. Alcalá

S.H.P. Alencar

S.A. Balashev

N. Bastian

B. Barbuy

U. Battino

G. Calderone

P. Cambianica

R. Carini

B. Carter

S. Cassisi

B.V. Castilho

G. Cescutti

N. Christlieb

R. Cirami

I. Coretti

R. Cooke

S. Covino

G. Cremonese

K. Cunha

G. Cupani

A.R. da Silva

V. De Caprio

A. De Cia

H. Dekker

V. D'Elia

G. De Silva

M. Diaz

P. Di Marcantonio

D. D'Auria

V. D'Odorico

A. Fitzsimmons

H. Ernandes

C. Evans

M. Franchini

M. Genoni

B. Gänsicke

R.E. Giribaldi

C. Gneiding

A. Grazian

C.J. Hansen

F. La Forgia

M. Landoni

M. Lazzarin

D. Lunney

W. Maciel

W. Marcolino

M. Marconi

A. Migliorini

C. Miller

P. Noterdaeme

C. Opitom

G. Pariani

B. Pilecki

S. Piranomonte

A. Quirrenbach

E.M.A. Redaelli

C.B. Pereira

S. Randich

S. Rossi

R. Sanchez-Janssen

W. Seifert

R. Smiljanic

C. Snodgrass

I. Stilz

J. Stürmer

E. Vanzella

P. Ventura

O. Verducci

C. Waring

S. Watson

M. Wells

D. Wright

T. Zafar

A. Zanutta.


In the era of Extremely Large Telescopes, the current generation of 8-10m facilities are likely to remain competitive at ground-UV wavelengths for the foreseeable future. The Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph (CUBES) has been designed to provide high-efficiency (>40%) observations in the near UV (305-400 nm requirement, 300-420 nm goal) at a spectral resolving power of R>20,000 (with a lower-resolution, sky-limited mode of R ~ 7,000). With the design focusing on maximizing the instrument throughput (ensuring a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) ~20 per high-resolution element at 313 nm for U ~18.5 mag objects in 1h of observations), it will offer new possibilities in many fields of astrophysics, providing access to key lines of stellar spectra: a tremendous diversity of iron-peak and heavy elements, lighter elements (in particular Beryllium) and light-element molecules (CO, CN, OH), as well as Balmer lines and the Balmer jump (particularly important for young stellar objects). The UV range is also critical in extragalactic studies: the circumgalactic medium of distant galaxies, the contribution of different types of sources to the cosmic UV background, the measurement of H2 and primordial Deuterium in a regime of relatively transparent intergalactic medium, and follow-up of explosive transients. The CUBES project completed a Phase A conceptual design in June 2021 and has now entered the detailed design and construction phase. First science operations are planned for 2028.


Cristiani, S., Alcalá, J., Alencar, S., Balashev, S., Bastian, N., Barbuy, B., …Zanutta., A. (2022). CUBES, the Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph. In Proc. SPIE 12184, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IX.

Conference Name SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2022
Publication Date Aug 29, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 29, 2022
Publisher SPIE
Volume 12184
Series Title SPIE Proceedings
Book Title Proc. SPIE 12184, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IX
Public URL


Accepted Conference Proceeding (5.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright 2022 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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