Simcoe Group: Extragalactic Observations and Instrumentation

Our group studies the evolution and flow of baryonic matter and galaxies across cosmic time, and builds cutting-edge instrumentation for major observatories to advance these investigations.  We are major users of the 6.5 meter Magellan Telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile, and are also beginning preparations for an early Guaranteed Time program with the James Webb Space Telescope upon its launch in the coming year. A new research focus is the dynamic infrared sky, which we will study with a new survey telescope to be commissioned in 2021.  Our instrumentation team delivered the FIRE infrared spectrometer to Magellan in 2010; FIRE has played a major role in the explosion of research on quasars and the intergalactic medium in the Epoch of Reionization.  We are now developing a new integral field optical spectrometer for Magellan named LLAMAS.  This fiber-optic based instrument will deliver 3D images of a contiguous 38″ x 38″ region of the sky, with R=2200 spectra at each 0.75″ spaxel.  The spectra will cover the full bandpass from 350nm to 985nm in a single setup.  We are also constructing a new 1-meter robotic survey telescope named WINTER in collaboration with Caltech.  WINTER’s camera utilizes large format InGaAs sensors and a warm optical train to deliver a 1.1 x 1.1 degree field of view in the Y, J, and Hs bands.  (0.9-1.6 microns).  This telescope will survey the full Northern sky starting in 2021, and search for IR counterparts to merging neutron star binaries detected by LIGO.


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