Astro Online Seminar - Keck Wide-Field Imager: The world’s most powerful camera

The Astro Online Seminars continue. 

Join the School of Physics at UNSW and hear Associate Professor Jeff Cooke, from Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University, discuss the world’s most powerful camera - Keck Wide-Field Imager.  This extraordinary Australian-led initiative will see installation of image capture equipment at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii.  

According to Cooke, "Deep, wide-field imaging is essential in nearly every area of astronomy and wide-field imagers are the highest demand instruments on their respective telescopes. The Australian-led Keck Wide-Field Imager (KWFI) is a 1-degree diameter field of view UV-sensitive optical camera for Keck telescopes, ideally complementing upcoming wide-field space missions, as well as new spectroscopic instruments for 8m and 30m-class telescopes, in which Australia is invested. KWFI will be the most powerful wide-field camera in the world and the only such 8m-class camera sensitive from 10000A down to 3000A for the foreseeable future. KWFI can reach game-changing magnitudes of m ~ 28 - 30 (~25 - 4 nano-Jy) depths over wide fields, including the u-band, as a result of Keck’s 10m aperture and 4100m elevation. In this talk, I will discuss the KWFI instrument, its status, and the path forward. Australians will have access to KWFI and related programs to perform world-leading science that cannot be done on any other telescope, even 30-metre telescopes. Examples of KWFI science are many and include: mapping the Epoch of Reionisation to complement a main goal of the SKA by being the only wide-field instrument capable of detecting the ionising flux from high redshift galaxies; deep, wide-field galaxy lensing and large-scale structure research; accurate photometric redshifts down to the faint end of galaxy luminosity functions; faint and diffuse dwarf galaxies, Local group and Milky Way stellar population selection and low metallicity stars; solar system science; and transient detection from low to high redshift. KWFI will be the only imager with the sensitivity to localise and discover the bulk of the kilonovae detected by current and future gravitational wave detectors. KWFI accesses 2/3rds of the Southern Hemisphere sky, as well as the full Northern Hemisphere sky, enabling Australians to lead the world in all these areas of science and more."

Link: Zoom

Prof Cooke is a Chief Investigator for OzGrav, Associate Investigator for ASTRO 3D, and past ARC Future Fellow. He received his PhD from the University of California, San Diego and held postdoctoral Fellowships at the University of California Irvine and Caltech.