Infrared Instrumentation: LBT Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research (LUCI): This is the near-infrared instrument for the LBT, mounted at a bent interior focal station , and operating in the 0.9 - 2.5 µm (infrared wavelength) spectral range. LUCI provides a seeing-limited 4 x 4 arc min field of view, and a .5 x .5 arc min field of view for diffraction-limited imaging and spectroscopy. Seeing-limited is the image quality set by the blur of the atmosphere and diffraction-limited is the image quality set by the physics limitations of the optics (~10x sharper than seeing-limited). In its focal plane area, long-slit and multi-slit masks have been installed for single- and multi- object spectroscopy. Three camera optics provide image scales of 0.25, 0.12, and 0.015 arcsec/detector elements for wide field, seeing-limited and diffraction-limited observations. Like all infrared instruments, LUCI is operated at cryogenic temperatures, and is therefore cooled down to about -200 C.
Published research studies have used LUCI to examine Lyman Break Galaxies (star-forming galaxies at great distances) and Lyman Alpha Emitter Galaxies (distant galaxies thought to be progenitors of the most modern Milky-Way-type galaxies). Lyman Alpha emitter Galaxies emit Lyman-alpha radiation thought to be caused by ongoing outbursts of star-formation, and - because of the finite travel time of light - are glimpses of the past history of the universe. These Lyman Alpha Emitter Galaxies also trace dark matter halos and subsequently the evolution of matter distribution in the universe. LUCI examined Lyman Break Galaxies and Lyman Alpha Emitters and found expanding shells or clouds moving at different speeds. This phenomenon is well described by a galactic wind driven by recent star formation.
Click here to read a study of Lyman Break Galaxies: LBT/LUCI Observations of the Z~2 Lensed Galaxy J0900+2234 by F. Bian, X. Fan, J. Bechtold, et al.
Click here to read a study about Lyman Alpha Emitter Galaxies: First Spectroscopic Measurements of [O III] Emission from Lyman-alpha Selected Field Galaxies at Z~3.1 by E. M. McLinden, S. L. Finelstein, J. E. Rhoads, et al.
LUCI has also been used to study star formation in a local starburst dwarf galaxy (NGC 1569), which has given insight into galaxy formation very early in the Universe.
Click here to read: Infrared narrow-Band Tomography of the Local Starburst NGC 1569 with LBT/LUCI by A. Pasquali, A. Bik, S. Zibetti, et al.