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Proceedings Paper

The next generation of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope: science requirements and survey strategies
Author(s): Alan McConnachie; Patrick Côté; David Crampton; Daniel Devost; Doug Simons; Kei Szeto
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Paper Abstract

A concept study is underway to upgrade the existing 3.6 meter Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) to a 10 meter class, wide-field, dedicated, spectroscopic facility, which will be the sole astronomical resource capable of obtaining deep, spectroscopic follow-up data to the wealth of photometric and astrometric surveys planned for the next decade, and which is designed to tackle driving science questions on the formation of the Milky Way galaxy and the characterization and nature of dark energy. This unique facility will operate at low (R ∼ 2000), intermediate (R ∼ 6000) and high (R ∼ 20000) resolutions over the wavelength range 370 ≤ λ≤ 1300nm, and will obtain up to 3200 simultaneous spectra per pointing over a 1.5 square degree field. Unlike all other proposed or planned wide field spectroscopic facilities, this “Next Generation CFHT” will combine the power of a 10m aperture with exquisite observing conditions and a mandate for dedicated spectroscopic studies to enable transformative science programs in fields as diverse as exoplanetary host characterization, the interstellar medium, stars and stellar astrophysics, the Milky Way galaxy, the Local Group, nearby galaxies and clusters, galaxy evolution, the inter-galactic medium, dark energy and cosmology. A new collaboration must be formed to make this necessary facility into a reality, and currently nearly 60 scientists from 11 different communities - Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hawaii, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, USA - are involved in defining the science requirements and survey strategies. Here, we discuss the origins of this project, its motivations, the key science and its flow-down requirements. An accompanying article describes the technical studies completed to date. The final concept study will be submitted to the CFHT Board and Science Advisory Committee in Fall 2012, with first light for the facility aiming to be in the early 2020s.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84442Z (17 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926847
Show Author Affiliations
Alan McConnachie, NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)
Patrick Côté, NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)
David Crampton, NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)
Daniel Devost, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (United States)
Doug Simons, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (United States)
Kei Szeto, NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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