METIS (The Mid-infrared ELT Imager and Spectrograph) is one of the three 'first light' instruments for the ELT, operating at the wavelengths long-ward of 2.5 microns which are important for the study of objects which are dusty, cool (or highly red-shifted).
With the unequalled spatial resolution provided by the ELT's 39m primary mirror, the detection and characterisation of exo-planets becomes an exciting prospect and one which has driven METIS to fully integrate coronography within its primary imaging and spectroscopic capabilities.
METIS is being built by a consortium of European institutes, led by the Netherlands (NOVA). The ATC then leads the UK contribution to METIS, with responsibility for the design and build of the LM-band high resolution spectrometer (the LMS), which covers the wavelength range from 2.5 to 5.5 microns. The LMS design uses a novel immersion grating to achieve a spectral resolving power of 100,000, ideal for the optimal measurement of the complex molecular spectra of cool circumstellar disks, and with the ability to map velocity structures well below 1 km/second.
With an integral field unit which allows the LMS to observe a 0.5 x 1.0 arcsecond field in a single shot, and a built-in vortex coronagraph for eliminating the light from a bright star, METIS-LMS can be seen as a powerful machine for studying the atmospheric physics (abundance and temperature profiles) of nearby extra-solar gas giants.