CfA Colloquium Schedule Fall 2011
 22 September 2011

22 September 2011

Speaker: Paul Schechter (MIT)

Title:WFIRST: an unobscured three mirror anastigmatic telescope with a HgCdTe focal plane

Abstract: The Wide-Field Infra-Red Telescope, WFIRST, is a 1.3-m three mirror anastigmatic telescope with 36 HgCdTe 2048x2048 arrays. These are divided between an imaging channel (28 arrays) and two slitless spectroscopic channels (4 arrays each) that simultaneously survey the sky in 3 filters blueward of 2 microns. The WFIRST interim design reference mission ( includes: a one year "wide" (11,000 square degree) survey; a one year "deep" (2700 square degree) survey; a year and a half microlensing census of exoplanets at and beyond the habitable zone; a half year supernova survey; and a full year open to general investigator programs. The expansion (and acceleration) history of the universe and the growth of structure with time will be studied using weak lensing, baryon accoustic oscillations and type Ia supernovae. Exoplanets as small as Mars and at distances as great as 10 AU from their host stars will be detected. It is a good bet that several of the successful guest investigator proposals will be written by members of the audience. WFIRST will launch 7 years from the beginning of a "new start."

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