WEAVE - at the William Herschel Telescope
13 May 2020



The WHT Enhanced Area Velocity Explorer (WEAVE) is a facility upgrade for the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope (WHT) at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on the Island of La Palma.


​​​The William Herschel Telescope and the Milky Way.

Credit: Max Alexander​

​The WHT was built in 1985, and forms part of the Isaac Newton Group, which is operated by STFC on behalf of the UK, the Netherlands, and Spain. 

RAL Space Involvement
RAL Space leads the WEAVE international consortium which will provide the WHT with a new wide-field (2 degrees at prime focus) feeding light via optical fibres from up to 1000 simultaneous targets to a medium/high resolution spectrograph.
Within the consortium RAL Space is responsible for the overall design concept for WEAVE, systems engineering, spectrograph optical design, software control for the fibre positioning robots and observation scheduling.

Main Objectives
WEAVE will conduct a 5-year multi-strand survey covering more than 12 million spectra of stars and galaxies, covering the evolution and dynamics of the Milky Way, the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies, and the relationship between black-hole activity and star formation in distant galaxies. The surveys are being conducted by a consortium of more than 500 researchers within the WEAVE community.

Construction Partners
The Isaaac Newton Group, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Liverpool John Moores University, University of Groninigen, Nederlandse Onderzoekschool Voor Astronomie, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (Italy), Observatoire de Paris, Konkoly Observatory, Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (Mexico), Lund University, Uppsala University, Liebniz Institute for Astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the University of Pennsylvania.

Further Information