SPIE plenary talks present the latest research and promising breakthroughs in astronomy
James Webb Space Telescope: The Road to First Science Observations
Mark Clampin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large aperture, infrared telescope planned for launch in 2018. This facility observatory will address a broad range of science goals.
The Square Kilometre Array: A Physics Machine for the 21st Century
Philip Diamond, SKA Organisation (United Kingdom)
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the next-generation radio-telescope and will be a true mega-science facility. SKA is being designed by and will be built by a global consortium, headquartered in the UK. The consortium currently has 11 member countries but is open for additional members at any time.
Gaia: Scientific In-orbit Performance
Timo Prusti, European Space Agency (The Netherlands)
Gaia is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission designed to map the sky down to the 20th magnitude for point sources.
Pierre Cox, Joint ALMA Observatory (Chile)
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array is transitioning from construction to operations. This connected element array currently operates from wavelengths of 3-mm to 350-microns with up to 66 array elements, 54 of 12-m diameter and 12 of 7-m diameter.
Highlights from the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), a 2nd generation VLT instrument for the VLT
Roland Bacon, Observatoire de Lyon (France) and the MUSE consortium
The Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer is a second-generation VLT panoramic integral-field spectrograph. The instrument is designed to take advantage of the VLT ground layer adaptive optics ESO facility using four laser guide stars.
Canadian Space Astronomy: Past, Present and Future
John B. Hutchings, NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada)
Canadian astronomers have participated in space astronomy since the first OAO missions in the 1960s and 1970s. Individual Canadian scientists have been members of HST instrument teams, and advisory groups for IUE and HEAO missions, as well as competing successfully for observing time on NASA, ESA, and Japanese astronomy satellites.
Hyper Suprime-Cam for Weak Gravitational Lensing Survey
Satoshi Miyazaki, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (Japan)
The Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) is a next generation, wide field optical imaging camera built for the 8.2 m Subaru telescope. HSC uniquely features the combination of large primary mirror, wide field of view, sharp image, and high sensitivity especially in red. This enables accurate shape measurement of faint galaxies which is critical for planned weak lensing survey to probe the nature of dark energy.
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
George R. Ricker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.