The Keck Wide-Field Imager as part of the future direction of the Keck Observatory

Jeff Cooke
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
4:00 pm
RH 192
The Keck Wide-Field Imager (KWFI) is a 1 degree diameter field of view optical imager for Keck that will be the most powerful wide-field imager in the world or in space for the foreseeable future (decades). KWFI has extreme throughput and sensitivity from 10000A down to 3000A that will enable new science from the high redshift Universe, to time-domain science, to the local Universe and the solar system that cannot be done on any other telescope, not even 30m-class telescopes. We have now entered into the era of next-generation facilities, including JWST, 30m-class telescopes, Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer, NASA Roman space telescope, Cherenkov Telescope Array, Square Kilometre Array, LIGO/Virgo/KAGRA, with larger, more sensitive facilities planned for the next decades, such as the Cosmic Explorer, LISA, LUVOIR, and others. In this talk, I will discuss the need now for KWFI's extremely deep, wide-field imaging, and its greater need in the coming decade, as it is vital for nearly all science cases for these facilities (many are billion-dollar facilities) operating at all wavelengths and to greatly extend their reach. Finally, I will cover the status of KWFI, its continued progress, and the development of a deployable secondary mirror to enable new science and fast imaging and spectroscopy capability in the same night.
Paul Robertson