[ASA] Call for Participation in the MANIFEST Science Advisory Process

Kyler Kuehn kyler.kuehn at aao.gov.au
Thu Nov 8 12:40:51 AEDT 2018

A MANIFEST Science Workshop will be held at the AAO (105 Delhi Rd, North Ryde) on 29 November, 2018:

MANIFEST, the MANy-Instrument FibrE SysTem, is a fibre-feed facility designed to enhance the scientific capabilities of the Giant Magellan Telescope, and particularly two of its first-generation instruments, the GMT Multi-object Astronomical Camera and Spectrograph (GMACS) and the GMT-Consortium Large Earth Finder (G-CLEF).  MANIFEST makes use of the AAO's novel Starbugs fibre-positioning technology to create a large field-of-view, high-resolution, high-multiplex feed for GMACS or GCLEF (or both simultaneously).

GMACS and G-CLEF have developed their own independent science cases for their instruments, and a variety of expected uses for these instruments in conjunction with MANIFEST have been considered by the instrument development teams (see, e.g., https://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1809.05804).  We now invite participation from the worldwide astronomical community in the MANIFEST Science Advisory Group (SAG) to help dramatically expand the scientific vision for the MANIFEST facility and to elaborate on the technical aspects of the facility required to bring about that vision.

The MANIFEST Science Advisory Group should be representative of the eventual GMT users’ community; thus we have a strong desire for it to include a diverse membership – scientifically, geographically, sociodemographically, and otherwise.  In the coming months, the SAG will formulate and refine the scientific goals of the facility, and in particular will advance our understanding of the technical requirements for the instrument.

This process will begin with a half-day workshop on 29 November, 2018 (from 9AM to 1PM) at the headquarters of the Australian Astronomical Optics in North Ryde.  Remote participation is encouraged for those unable to attend in person.  The goal of this workshop is to facilitate discussion among those astronomers and instrument scientists interested in taking advantage of the unique capabilities of MANIFEST once it and the GMT are on sky, and to provide feedback to the team building MANIFEST regarding what technical capabilities will be most useful for the observational community.

At this stage, any and all interesting uses of MANIFEST will be open for consideration; attendees (including remote attendees) are encouraged to prepare a 3-5 minute "pitch" for their favorite MANIFEST science idea.  The workshop will have only a brief formal agenda for the introduction of the MANIFEST facility and the Science Advisory Process, along with detailed descriptions of a few example science cases.  The rest of the time will be given over to participants to pitch novel ideas and further discuss the MANIFEST science cases of greatest interest.

At the conclusion of the workshop, attendees who wish to participate formally in the SAG will then be tasked to translate the initial ideas discussed at the workshop – and any ideas that arise subsequently – into (a series of) white papers that will ultimately be collated into a “MANIFEST Science Book” suitable for publication in a leading astronomical journal.

For further information, or to confirm attendance at the workshop, contact the MANIFEST Project Scientist and Project Manager, Kyler Kuehn (kyler.kuehn at mq.edu.au) by 22 November, 2018.
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