ACP Seminar (Astronomy - Cosmology - Particle Physics)

Speaker: Gary Hill (McDonald Observatory)
Title: The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment
Date (JST): Wed, May 22, 2013, 15:30 - 16:30
Place: Lecture Hall
Related File: 954.pdf
Abstract: The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) will outfit the 10 m HET with a new wide field and an array of 150 integral-field spectrographs to survey a 400 sq. degree area in the north galactic cap, plus a smaller equatorial field. Each fiber coupled unit spectrograph will cover 350-550 nm, simultaneously at 6 A resolution, providing in total ~36,000 spectra per exposure. This instrument, called VIRUS, willopen up large-scale surveys of the emission-line universe for the first time, and in particular will be used to detect ~0.8 million Lyman-alpha emitting (LAE) galaxies with 1.9 < z < 3.5 and more than a million [OII] emitting galaxies with z < 0.5.

The HETDEX survey will run from 2014 to 2017. The resulting 3-D map of LAE galaxies in 9 cubic Gpc volume will be used to constrain the expansion history at this early epoch to percent accuracy, and will provide an unprecedented sample with which to probe the properties of LAEs at the epoch where star formation activity in the Universe peaks. In addition to providing the tightest constraint on the possible evolution of dark energy, the dataset will constrain the curvature of the universe more tightly than Planck. I will discuss the status of the experiment, which will begin to deploy this summer, and highlight the unique aspects of HETDEX.