The AAOmega spectrograph was successfully commissioned in January 2006. The AAOmega spectrograph can be fed by several front-ends such as the Two Degree Field (2dF) multi-object system and the SAMI multi-object integral field spectroscopy unit.

Over the past decade the AAO has pioneered the use of optical fibres in astronomy and currently leads the world in this work. 2dF feeds into AAOmega and uses flexible optical fibres, to collect the light from up to 400 faint stars or galaxies from a two degree field of view. This light is directed 50 metres below the telescope to the room where AAOmega lives.  The light is sent through the series of dispersing optics inside the spectrograph and is split into red light and blue light channels which each feed into separate CCD detectors.

The CCDs translate the photons of lights into digital information which is transported through computer systems to the astronomers in the AAT control room or observing remotely from another location in the world. Data analyses is completed through computer software so science results can ultimately be published in leading International Astronomical Journals.

An image of the AAOmega Spectrograph

The AAOmega spectrograph is a dual-beam spectrograph. The silver bullet shaped part on the left is the blue camera, and the one on the right is the red camera. Image: Barnaby Norris (AAO)

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