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Proceedings Paper

The science drivers for a mid-infrared instrument for the TMT
Author(s): Y. K. Okamoto; C. Packham; A. Tokunaga; M. Honda; I. Sakon; J. Carr; M. Chiba; M. Chun; H. Fujiwara; T. Fujiyoshi; M. Imanishi; Y. Ita; H. Kataza; N. Levenson; M. Matsuura; T. Minezaki; J. Najita; T. Onaka; T. Ootsubo; M. Richter; M. Takami; C. M. Telesco; C. M. Wright; T. Yamashita
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Paper Abstract

A mid-infrared (MIR) imager and spectrometer is being investigated for possible consideration for construction in the early operation of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). Combined with adaptive optics for the MIR, the instrument will afford 15 times higher sensitivity (0.1mJy as 5 sigma detection in 1hour integration in the N-band imaging) and 4 times better spatial resolution (0.08") at 10μm compared to 8m-class telescopes. In addition, its large light-gathering power allows high-dispersion spectroscopy in the MIR that will be unrivaled by any other facility. We, a collaborating team of Japanese and US MIR astronomers, have carefully considered the science drivers for the TMT MIR instrument. Such an instrument would offer both broad and potentially transformative science. Furthering the science cases for the MIRES1, where high-dispersion spectroscopy was emphasized, we discuss additional capabilities for the instrument drawn from the enlarged science cases. The science cases include broader areas of astronomical fields: star and planet formation, solar system bodies, evolved stars, interstellar medium (ISM), extragalaxies, and cosmology. Based on these science drivers, essential instrument capabilities and key enhancement are discussed (see the companion paper Tokunaga et al. 20102): specifically imaging, lowand high-spectral resolution modes, integral field spectroscopy, and polarimetry.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 July 2010
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77355O (20 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856670
Show Author Affiliations
Y. K. Okamoto, Ibaraki Univ. (Japan)
C. Packham, Univ. of Florida (United States)
A. Tokunaga, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
M. Honda, Kanagawa Univ. (Japan)
I. Sakon, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
J. Carr, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
M. Chiba, Tohoku Univ. (Japan)
M. Chun, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
H. Fujiwara, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
T. Fujiyoshi, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Subaru Telescope (United States)
M. Imanishi, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (Japan)
Y. Ita, Astronomical Institute, Tohoku Univ. (Japan)
H. Kataza, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
N. Levenson, Gemini Observatory (Chile)
M. Matsuura, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
T. Minezaki, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
J. Najita, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
T. Onaka, The Univ. of Tokyo (Japan)
T. Ootsubo, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)
M. Richter, Univ. of California, Davis (United States)
M. Takami, Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Taiwan)
C. M. Telesco, Univ. of Florida (United States)
C. M. Wright, Univ. of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy (Australia)
T. Yamashita, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7735:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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