Astronomical instrumentation

Astronomical instrumentation are the tools used to observe objects and phenomena that occur in space. These can include both terrestrial and satellite-borne telescopes. High precision optical components such as mirrors and lenses at all wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum are crucial to the development of these devices.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Using large-aperture Cherenkov telescopes, Benbow et al. have measured the angular sizes of two stars through timely occultations by asteroids, achieving an order of magnitude improvement in resolution over the lunar occultation method.

    • W. Benbow
    • , R. Bird
    • , A. Brill
    • , R. Brose
    • , A. J. Chromey
    • , M. K. Daniel
    • , Q. Feng
    • , J. P. Finley
    • , L. Fortson
    • , A. Furniss
    • , G. H. Gillanders
    • , C. Giuri
    • , O. Gueta
    • , D. Hanna
    • , J. P. Halpern
    • , T. Hassan
    • , J. Holder
    • , G. Hughes
    • , T. B. Humensky
    • , A. M. Joyce
    • , P. Kaaret
    • , P. Kar
    • , N. Kelley-Hoskins
    • , M. Kertzman
    • , D. Kieda
    • , M. Krause
    • , M. J. Lang
    • , T. T. Y. Lin
    • , G. Maier
    • , N. Matthews
    • , P. Moriarty
    • , R. Mukherjee
    • , D. Nieto
    • , M. Nievas-Rosillo
    • , S. O’Brien
    • , R. A. Ong
    • , N. Park
    • , A. Petrashyk
    • , M. Pohl
    • , E. Pueschel
    • , J. Quinn
    • , K. Ragan
    • , P. T. Reynolds
    • , G. T. Richards
    • , E. Roache
    • , C. Rulten
    • , I. Sadeh
    • , M. Santander
    • , G. H. Sembroski
    • , K. Shahinyan
    • , I. Sushch
    • , S. P. Wakely
    • , R. M. Wells
    • , P. Wilcox
    • , A. Wilhelm
    • , D. A. Williams
    •  & T. J. Williamson
    Nature Astronomy 3, 511-516
  • Research |

    High-precision polarization observations of the binary star system Spica reveal that the amount of light from the primary component that is reflected off the secondary component (and vice versa) is a few per cent of the incident light. Such observations will be useful in identifying close binary systems.

    • Jeremy Bailey
    • , Daniel V. Cotton
    • , Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer
    • , Ain De Horta
    •  & Darren Maybour
  • Research | | open

    There is significant interest in providing real-world applications for metamaterials. Here, the authors design an Advanced Short Backfire Antenna, augmented with anisotropic metamaterial surfaces to achieve high aperture efficiency across two frequency bands, making the antenna ideal for spaceborne applications.

    • J. Daniel Binion
    • , Erik Lier
    • , Thomas H. Hand
    • , Zhi Hao Jiang
    •  & Douglas H. Werner
  • Reviews |

    KAGRA is a new gravitational wave detector being built in Japan. Unlike LIGO/Virgo, it will operate at cryogenic temperatures with sapphire mirrors. KAGRA will help improve the localization of gravitational wave detections and determination of the source parameters.

    • T. Akutsu
    • , M. Ando
    • , K. Arai
    • , Y. Arai
    • , S. Araki
    • , A. Araya
    • , N. Aritomi
    • , H. Asada
    • , Y. Aso
    • , S. Atsuta
    • , K. Awai
    • , S. Bae
    • , L. Baiotti
    • , M. A. Barton
    • , K. Cannon
    • , E. Capocasa
    • , C-S. Chen
    • , T-W. Chiu
    • , K. Cho
    • , Y-K. Chu
    • , K. Craig
    • , W. Creus
    • , K. Doi
    • , K. Eda
    • , Y. Enomoto
    • , R. Flaminio
    • , Y. Fujii
    • , M.-K. Fujimoto
    • , M. Fukunaga
    • , M. Fukushima
    • , T. Furuhata
    • , S. Haino
    • , K. Hasegawa
    • , K. Hashino
    • , K. Hayama
    • , S. Hirobayashi
    • , E. Hirose
    • , B. H. Hsieh
    • , C-Z. Huang
    • , B. Ikenoue
    • , Y. Inoue
    • , K. Ioka
    • , Y. Itoh
    • , K. Izumi
    • , T. Kaji
    • , T. Kajita
    • , M. Kakizaki
    • , M. Kamiizumi
    • , S. Kanbara
    • , N. Kanda
    • , S. Kanemura
    • , M. Kaneyama
    • , G. Kang
    • , J. Kasuya
    • , Y. Kataoka
    • , N. Kawai
    • , S. Kawamura
    • , T. Kawasaki
    • , C. Kim
    • , J. Kim
    • , J. C. Kim
    • , W. S. Kim
    • , Y.-M. Kim
    • , N. Kimura
    • , T. Kinugawa
    • , S. Kirii
    • , Y. Kitaoka
    • , H. Kitazawa
    • , Y. Kojima
    • , K. Kokeyama
    • , K. Komori
    • , A. K. H. Kong
    • , K. Kotake
    • , R. Kozu
    • , R. Kumar
    • , H-S. Kuo
    • , S. Kuroyanagi
    • , H. K. Lee
    • , H. M. Lee
    • , H. W. Lee
    • , M. Leonardi
    • , C-Y. Lin
    • , F-L. Lin
    • , G. C. Liu
    • , Y. Liu
    • , E. Majorana
    • , S. Mano
    • , M. Marchio
    • , T. Matsui
    • , F. Matsushima
    • , Y. Michimura
    • , N. Mio
    • , O. Miyakawa
    • , A. Miyamoto
    • , T. Miyamoto
    • , K. Miyo
    • , S. Miyoki
    • , W. Morii
    • , S. Morisaki
    • , Y. Moriwaki
    • , T. Morozumi
    • , M. Musha
    • , K. Nagano
    • , S. Nagano
    • , K. Nakamura
    • , T. Nakamura
    • , H. Nakano
    • , M. Nakano
    • , K. Nakao
    • , T. Narikawa
    • , L. Naticchioni
    • , L. Nguyen Quynh
    • , W.-T. Ni
    • , A. Nishizawa
    • , Y. Obuchi
    • , T. Ochi
    • , J. J. Oh
    • , S. H. Oh
    • , M. Ohashi
    • , N. Ohishi
    • , M. Ohkawa
    • , K. Okutomi
    • , K. Ono
    • , K. Oohara
    • , C. P. Ooi
    • , S-S. Pan
    • , J. Park
    • , F. E. Peña Arellano
    • , I. Pinto
    • , N. Sago
    • , M. Saijo
    • , S. Saitou
    • , Y. Saito
    • , K. Sakai
    • , Y. Sakai
    • , Y. Sakai
    • , M. Sasai
    • , M. Sasaki
    • , Y. Sasaki
    • , S. Sato
    • , N. Sato
    • , T. Sato
    • , Y. Sekiguchi
    • , N. Seto
    • , M. Shibata
    • , T. Shimoda
    • , H. Shinkai
    • , T. Shishido
    • , A. Shoda
    • , K. Somiya
    • , E. J. Son
    • , A. Suemasa
    • , T. Suzuki
    • , T. Suzuki
    • , H. Tagoshi
    • , H. Tahara
    • , H. Takahashi
    • , R. Takahashi
    • , A. Takamori
    • , H. Takeda
    • , H. Tanaka
    • , K. Tanaka
    • , T. Tanaka
    • , S. Tanioka
    • , E. N. Tapia San Martin
    • , D. Tatsumi
    • , T. Tomaru
    • , T. Tomura
    • , F. Travasso
    • , K. Tsubono
    • , S. Tsuchida
    • , N. Uchikata
    • , T. Uchiyama
    • , T. Uehara
    • , S. Ueki
    • , K. Ueno
    • , F. Uraguchi
    • , T. Ushiba
    • , M. H. P. M. van Putten
    • , H. Vocca
    • , S. Wada
    • , T. Wakamatsu
    • , Y. Watanabe
    • , W-R. Xu
    • , T. Yamada
    • , A. Yamamoto
    • , K. Yamamoto
    • , K. Yamamoto
    • , S. Yamamoto
    • , T. Yamamoto
    • , K. Yokogawa
    • , J. Yokoyama
    • , T. Yokozawa
    • , T. H. Yoon
    • , T. Yoshioka
    • , H. Yuzurihara
    • , S. Zeidler
    •  & Z.-H. Zhu
    Nature Astronomy 3, 35-40

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    The 4-metre Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope (4MOST) is a versatile optical survey instrument that will be installed on the VISTA telescope in 2022, offering medium- and high-resolution spectra and an innovative operations mode, explains Principal Investigator Roelof de Jong on behalf of the 4MOST Consortium.

    • Roelof S. de Jong
  • Comments and Opinion |

    A pioneer of millimetre-wave astronomy, Norio Kaifu was an incomparable leader, person of spirit, colleague and friend.

    • Masahiko Hayashi
    Nature Astronomy 3, 471-472
  • Comments and Opinion |

    SCExAO is an instrument on the Subaru Telescope that is pushing the frontiers of what is possible with ground-based direct imaging of terrestrial exoplanets, explains Thayne Currie, on behalf of the SCExAO team.

    • Thayne Currie
  • Comments and Opinion |

    South Africa is looking forward to hosting the IAU General Assembly in 2024 — the first on the African continent. The meeting will come at a time of burgeoning scientific prosperity for the growing community of indigenous South African and African astronomers.

    • David A. H. Buckley
    Nature Astronomy 3, 369-373