Sat, Feb 08, 2014 - Page 4 News List

ASIAA to collaborate with Japan on Subaru Telescope

PIONEERING COLLABORATION:Academia Sinica’s Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics will continue to partner with Japan on astronomical instrument upgrades

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Academia Sinica’s Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) signed a renewed memorandum of understanding yesterday to extend their long-term collaboration for upgrading the Subaru Telescope, an astronomical telescope in Hawaii.

Construction of the Subaru Telescope — the NAOJ flagship telescope and one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced optical telescopes, located on the 4,200m summit of Mount Kea on the Island of Hawaii, began in 1991 and it began astronomical observations in 1999.

According to a Web site, which is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to introduce the Sabaru Telescope, the Subaru’s field of view is powerful enough to see a ping-pong ball on the top of Mount Fuji from Tokyo, 100km away.

After completion of the Hyper SuprimeCam (HSC), the next phase of the project is to upgrade the Subaru’s prime focus capability, in which Taiwan’s ASIAA and Japan’s NAOJ will work collaboratively to construct several optical and infrared astronomical instruments, including the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS), the Academia Sinica said.

The institution added that the HSC — the first stage of the pioneering Subaru collaboration, is an 870-megapixel high-resolution ultra-wide-field CCD camera that enlarges the telescope’s field of view seven times that of its predecessor — Suprime-Cam.

The HSC was installed on the telescope in 2012, enabling the imaging of the complete Andromeda Galaxy in one single high-resolution image. The PFS is a 2,400-fiber fed multi-object spectrometer covering a 380nm to 1300nm range for the Subaru Telescope that will enable it to conduct a variety of targeted surveys for the studies of dark energy, galaxy evolution and galactic archeology.

To improve the PFS, the team in Taiwan will deliver a metrology camera and contribute to the mechanical structure and integration of the Prime Focus Instrument, the Academia Sinica said.

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