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In Greek mythology, Metis was the spouse of Zeus and mother of Athena, goddess of wisdom.

METIS is also the proposed mid-infrared imager and spectrograph for the European ELT, Europe’s next-generation ground-based telescope for optical and infrared (IR) wavelengths. Covering the L, M and N bands, METIS will offer imaging, coronagraphy and medium-resolution spectroscopy over the full wavelength range (3-19 microns), and high-resolution integral field spectroscopy in L and M bands (3-5 microns).

METIS is one of the three first instruments for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), and the only instrument to cover wavelengths beyond 3 microns. The phase-A conceptual study, which ran from May 2008 to December 2009 and led to the unique instrument concept, has been followed by a series of technology development projects. The Agreement for the design and construction of METIS with ESO was signed on 28 September 2015 and METIS is now well on its way to the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in 2018.