HETDEX Workshop


While the HETDEX project's primary objective is dark energy, the wide-field upgrade of the HET, the provision of the 150-unit VIRUS, and the three-year DEX survey for Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies provide opportunities to probe other important questions in astrophysics.

The McDonald Observatory proposes to host a workshop to explore the suite of such opportunities.

Particular aims of the workshop include:

  1. Develop science cases for uses of the DEX survey data.

  2. Develop science cases for use of VIRUS in parallel mode, i.e., VIRUS collects data as the primary observations are made with the LRS, HRS, MRS et al.

  3. Consider what other surveys may be conducted with VIRUS either in its DEX configuration or in a modified configuration.

Use of the planned VIRUS (same wavelength coverage, same maximum resolving power) may begin in the DEX survey era on a non-interfering basis.

Modifications of VIRUS (e.g., different grating) will be an expensive proposition but the WFU and VIRUS are a powerful unique combination.

Requirements set by the science cases will be considered to differing degrees in final design of aspects of HETDEX project, for example:

  1. Are the requirements for the data reduction pipeline complete or incomplete for all or principal envisaged science programs? How may we ensure ease and reliability of the pipeline for non-DEX science?

  2. Will the parallel mode be used extensively? Should we plan for it?

  3. Execution of other surveys with the planned VIRUS (same wavelength coverage, same maximum resolving power) seem unlikely to have an impact (none?) on present plans.

Should VIRUS be built to anticipate in certain ways that new surveys may desire/require modifications?