The Spanish Network for Spanish Astronomical Infrastructure (RIA, Red Española de Infraestructuras de Astronomía) is pleased to announce that the Calar Alto Executive Committee has selected TARSIS as the next generation instrument for the 3,5m telescope at Calar Alto. TARSIS (Tetra-ARmed Super-Ifu Spectrograph) is an integral field spectrograph with four arms, three optimized in the blue range and another one in the red spectral range. Its unrivaled 3×3 arcmin field of view and extreme sensitivity make TARSIS a unique instrument. In conjunction with the exquisite transparency of the Calar Alto skies, TARSIS would allow the acquisition of deep observations in the rarely explored from ground-based observatories UV-A ultraviolet range up to the red spectral range.
TARSIS is co-led by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and IAA-CSIC, with contributions from three Andalusian universities (Almería, Granada and Sevilla), INAOE (Mexico), the industrial partner Fractal SLNE and the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB/INTA-CSIC). The final recommendation of the Science Advisory Committee follows the study of the six projects that concurred to the “Call for New Legacy and Instrumentation Projects” made by Calar Alto in March 2020 in a meeting funded by RIA. The Science Advisory Committee recommended then the GAMAICA and TARSIS projects, which have both succeeded their viability studies.
TARSIS is supported by the scientific project CATARSIS, which will map 16 carefully selected galaxy clusters to provide spectra across all the optical range of all their galaxies. CATARSIS will allow validating the standard cosmological model and will peer into the nature of the dark matter and energy, as well as the relationship between galaxy evolution and their environment.
RIA congratulates the TARSIS and CATARSIS teams and wishes them a great scientific success. RIA also appreciates the great scientific and technological level of the GAMAICA project and encourages its supporting team to pursue on the project hoping for new opportunities either in the Spanish or international observatories.