The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE, formerly Next Generation CFHT) is an advanced project to profoundly transform the current CFHT into a survey telescope with a 10-meter mirror and a dedicated, heavily multiplexed, wide-field spectrograph with a wavelength coverage of 0.4-1.8 micron and multiple spectral resolutions. MSE is borne out as the response to the astronomical community's need for a large aperture, dedicated, spectroscopic survey facility in synergy with imaging surveys (LSST, WFIRST, ...) and giant telescopes (GMT, ELT, TMT). The project is now entering preliminary design phase after successfully completing its conceptual design.
We will present the current architecture of the observatory as well as the expected performance characteristics of the project and describe the science that is driving this unique facility: unveiling the properties of the faint universe, whether they relate to the origin and diversity of stellar systems, Milky Way archaeology at the earliest time, galaxy evolution across cosmos times, or illuminating the dark universe. Finally, we will conclude with an overview of the project's partnership and organization.
Local contact: S. Chabanier, C. Yeche
Organization: V. Lebouteiller