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The X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission succeeds the Hitomi X-ray Observatory that failed on orbit in 2016. Prior to the failure, Hitomi delivered a ground-breaking observation of the Perseus Cluster of Galaxies’ hot atmosphere. The observations revealed bulk and turbulent velocities and chemical composition with unprecedented detail.


Artist view of TMT

Participation in the Thirty Meter Telescope Project has been the top recommendation of Canada’s Long-range Plan for astronomy for the last 15 years. Federal funding obtained in 2014 currently affords Canada about a 15% share in this facility, one of only three planned telescopes in its class worldwide. As the name suggests, the TMT is an optical/infrared telescope with a single, segmented mirror that is 30m in diameter.


Artist view of MSE

The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer is a proposed spectroscopic survey telescope, to replace the CFHT on Maunakea. The telescope will have an 11m primary mirror and a 1-degree field of view, with a fibre-fed spectrograph capable of obtaining simultaneous spectra for thousands of objects at resolutions spanning 2000 to 20,000. Its operations will be dedicated to conducting several wide area surveys that provide a critical complement to the ambitious imaging surveys on the horizon.

Artist's rendering of WFIRST observatory, Credit: NASA

The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope is a NASA flagship space mission – the grandchild of the Hubble Space telescope - to launch in 2025 that will study dark matter, dark energy and exoplanets with unprecedented precision. Mike Hudson has been leading the scientific effort that will enable Canada to join this mission. He is also a member of the WFIRST Cosmology Science Investigation Team.

Artist view of LSST

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is an ambitious, US-led experiment to map most of the observable sky at optical wavelengths, revisiting each point on the sky approximately every three nights for ten years. Each visit will consist of multiple images spaced by about 15 seconds. This will provide an unprecedented look at the transient universe, discovering myriad phenomena that vary on timescales ranging from seconds to years.

Artist view of JWST

The James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2019, is the long-anticipated successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. Optimized for near-infrared observations, with a dazzling array of instrumentation, JWST will make fundamental new discoveries about the very early Universe, the assembly of galaxies, the birth of stars and planets, and the origins of life. Through the involvement of the Canadian Space Agency, Canadian astronomers have access to 5% of time for PI-driven projects on this extraordinary facility.

Artist's impression of Euclid

In 2022 the European Space Agency will launch the Euclid satellite mission. Euclid is a medium class astronomy and astrophysics space mission that will undertake a galaxy redshift survey over the redshift range 0.9 < z < 1.8, while simultaneously performing an imaging survey in both visible and near infrared bands. The complete survey will provide hundreds of thousands of images and several tens of Petabytes of data.

Rendition of the CCAT-prime telescope, Credit: Vertex Antennentechnik GmbH

The Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope-prime is a submillimeter wavelength telescope designed for very wide field observing. This 6-meter aperture telescope will begin operations in Chile in 2022, carrying out several large-area surveys with a mapping speed unchallenged by any current or near-future facilities in the 150 to 1500 GHz telluric window.

Artist view of CASTOR

The Cosmological Advanced Survey Telescope for Optical and UV Research is a proposed Canadian Space Agency satellite mission that would provide high-resolution imaging in the UV/optical (0.15–0.55 μm) spectral region.

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