On Friday, November 11th, the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Tokyo University) announced that the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS), which will be the most powerful multi-object spectrograph in the world, passed a milestone, capturing light from several hundred stars spread over a 1 degree field of view. This important test demonstrated that the optical fibers can be accurately aligned to astronomical objects. When completed, the PFS will be able to obtain simultaneous spectra of over 2000 stars and galaxies. The PFS collaboration is planning a 360-night survey with the instrument, exploring large-scale structure at high redshift, the evolution of galaxies, and the dynamics and chemical composition of stars in the Milky Way halo and nearby galaxies.
Many Princeton astronomers have contributed to the construction and commissioning of the instrument, especially Jim Gunn, Robert Lupton, Craig Loomis, Arnaud Le Fur, and Hassan Siddiqui, who played crucial roles in the September 2022 engineering run described in the release. Robert, Craig, and Arnaud all traveled to Hawaii to take part in this run.
Congratulations to this international team on a brilliant milestone, we look forward to hearing updates as we get closer to the mid-2023 completion date!