MAVIS is an advanced instrument that will be installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. It uses multiple deformable mirrors and wavefront sensors to remove the effects of atmospheric turbulence, allowing for high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy. This will enable new discoveries across a large portion of the observable sky, from our own planetary system to those around other stars, and from the physics of star formation in the Milky Way to observing high-redshift galaxies in the early Universe with sufficient resolution to reveal significant details of their morphology and their evolutionary path.
MAVIS stands for the MCAO-Assisted Visible Imager and Spectrograph. MCAO refers to Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics, an advanced technique that will enable MAVIS's exquisite resolution, that has never before been attempted by any astronomical instrument at visible wavelengths. The project is being led by Astralis-AITC (at the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics), with a Consortium that also includes Astralis-MQ (Macquarie University), INAF (Italy), LAM (France), as well as ESO itself (based in Germany).
In March 2023 the MAVIS Consortium successfully completed the instrument's Preliminary Design Review (PDR). The PDR process saw both praise from ESO and external experts and also offered the MAVIS team many constructive suggestions. The project has now entered the Final Design phase, which will conclude in December 2024. After the Final Design Review, the actual manufacture and assembly of MAVIS will commence!