The CUBES science case

Chris Evans*, Stefano Cristiani, Cyrielle Opitom, Gabriele Cescutti, Valentina D’Odorico, Juan Manuel Alcalá, Silvia H.P. Alencar, Sergei Balashev, Beatriz Barbuy, Nate Bastian, Umberto Battino, Pamela Cambianica, Roberta Carini, Brad Carter, Santi Cassisi, Bruno Vaz Castilho, Norbert Christlieb, Ryan Cooke, Stefano Covino, Gabriele CremoneseKatia Cunha, André R. da Silva, Valerio D’Elia, Annalisa De Cia, Gayandhi De Silva, Marcos Diaz, Paolo Di Marcantonio, Heitor Ernandes, Alan Fitzsimmons, Mariagrazia Franchini, Boris T. Gänsicke, Matteo Genoni, Riano E. Giribaldi, Andrea Grazian, Camilla Juul Hansen, Fiorangela La Forgia, Monica Lazzarin, Wagner Marcolino, Marcella Marconi, Alessandra Migliorini, Pasquier Noterdaeme, Claudio Pereira, Bogumil Pilecki, Andreas Quirrenbach, Sofia Randich, Silvia Rossi, Rodolfo Smiljanic, Colin Snodgrass, Julian Stürmer, Andrea Trost, Eros Vanzella, Paolo Ventura, Duncan Wright, Tayyaba Zafar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


We introduce the scientific motivations for the development of the Cassegrain U-Band Efficient Spectrograph (CUBES) that is now in construction for the Very Large Telescope. The assembled cases span a broad range of contemporary topics across Solar System, Galactic and extragalactic astronomy, where observations are limited by the performance of current ground-based spectrographs shortwards of 400 nm. A brief background to each case is presented and specific technical requirements on the instrument design that flow-down from each case are identified. These were used as inputs to the CUBES design, that will provide a factor of ten gain in efficiency for astronomical spectroscopy over 300-405 nm, at resolving powers of R∼ 24,000 and ∼ 7,000. We include performance estimates that demonstrate the ability of CUBES to observe sources that are up to three magnitudes fainter than currently possible at ground-ultraviolet wavelengths, and we place its predicted performance in the context of existing facillities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Astronomy
Early online date01 Oct 2022
Publication statusEarly online date - 01 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A. R. da Silva, R. E. Giribaldi and R. Smiljanic acknowledge support by the National Science Centre, Poland, under project 2018/31/B/ST9/01469.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Comets
  • Galaxies
  • Instrumentation: spectrographs
  • Stars
  • Transients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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