Science with NIFS, Australia's First Gemini Instrument

Peter J. McGregor , Michael Dopita , Peter Wood , Michael G. Burton, PASA, 18 (1), in press.
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Contents Page: Volume 18, Number 1

Science with NIFS, Australia's First Gemini Instrument

Peter J. McGregor 1
Michael Dopita 1
Peter Wood 1
Michael G. Burton 2

1 Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Institute of Advanced Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

peter, mad,

2 School of Physics, University of NSW, 2052, Australia


The Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) will be Australia's first Gemini instrument. NIFS is a near-infrared, imaging spectrograph that will be used with the ALTAIR facility adaptive optics system on Gemini North to perform near diffraction-limited imaging spectroscopy over a

$3.0''\times3.0''$ field-of-view with 0.1'' wide slitlets and a spectral resolving power of $\sim $ 5300. NIFS will operate in the wavelength range from 0.94-2.50 $\mu $m where ALTAIR delivers its greatest gains. Its primary purpose is to study moderate surface brightness structures around discrete objects that are revealed at high spatial resolution by ALTAIR. NIFS will address a wide range of science from studies of Galactic star formation and the Galactic center to the nature of disk galaxies at $z \sim 1$. Studies of the demographics of massive black holes in galactic nuclei and studies of the excitation conditions in the inner narrow-line regions of Seyfert galaxies have been identified as two core NIFS programs. These and other science drivers for NIFS are discussed.

Keywords: instrumentation: spectrographs -- galaxies: nuclei -- galaxies: Seyfert -- infrared: galaxies

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