CFHT UM2016 - 1st Announcement

1-4 May 2016, Nice, France

21 December 2015

Focusing on CFHT's Future

CFHT is experiencing exciting times. In 2016 six ongoing Large Programs will be completed and new Large Programs for execution in 2017-2019 will be selected. Also in 2016 a new instrument, SITELLE, will enter science operations. The first facility class imaging FTS in astronomy, SITELLE will provide powerful integral field spectroscopy capabilities across ~10 arcmin fields. SITELLE will support emission line studies in Milky Way and extra-Galactic sources, yielding rich diagnostics of gas state, composition, and dynamics. SPIRou, a near infrared high-precision spectrometer, is also being developed for CFHT and is now well into its fabrication phase. Offering high-resolution Y-K single-shot spectro-polarimetric capabilities, SPIRou will also be unique in astronomy. SPIRou will enable searches for exoplanets around M dwarfs and stellar evolution research, with an emphasis on the role of stellar magnetic fields. The MegaCam and WIRCam filter sets have been rejuvenated and expanded, furthering their research horizons. ESPaDOnS is now fiber coupled to Gemini-N (GRACES) when not in use by CFHT. The first instrument of its kind, GRACES enables CFHT community access to all instruments on both Gemini telescopes. In parallel to all of this instrument development activity, a construction proposal is being developed for the transformation of CFHT into the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE).

These new and exciting developments have all been vetted during past CFHT Users’ Meetings - the place for our community to exchange ideas and shape the future of our facility. They are not happening in isolation, as an unprecedented level of inter-observatory collaboration is occurring on the summit of Maunakea. Advancing the Maunakea Observatories, of which CFHT is a longstanding and important partner, will be essential for 21st century astronomy, given the scientific productivity of these facilities and the ideal nature of the site for astronomical research. Accordingly CFHT’s 2016 Users’ Meeting will focus on the near-term exciting research potential at CFHT and the long term research promise of a more united suite of Maunakea Observatories, perhaps forming the Pan Pacific Observatory. With all of this in mind, the scientific and local organizing committees for the 2016 CFHT Users’ Meeting invites you to Nice to help build a strong common vision for CFHT and the Maunakea Observatories.

Hervé Aussel, Chair (2016-2017)
Scientific Organizing Committee
Doug Simons, Chair
Local Organizing Committee