CUBES, the Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph

S. Cristiani, J. M. Alcalá, S. H.P. Alencar, S. A. Balashev, N. Bastian, B. Barbuy, U. Battino, A. Calcines, G. Calderone, P. Cambianica, R. Carini, B. Carter, S. Cassisi, B. V. Castilho, G. Cescutti, N. Christlieb, R. Cirami, I. Coretti, R. Cooke, S. CovinoG. 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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IX
EditorsChristopher J. Evans, Julia J. Bryant, Kentaro Motohara
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653498
StatePublished - 2022
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IX 2022 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jul 17 2022Jul 22 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IX 2022


  • efficient U-band spectrograph
  • ELT
  • VLT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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