Our top priority is ensuring that the IfA remains at the cutting edge of astronomy for decades to come. We look forward to using the many new instruments and facilities that we will build and have access to in the next decades:
- On Maunakea, all of the observatories will remain competitive for the foreseeable future, and the IfA will continue to have access to them for our research. Our renovated UH 2.2-m telescope will be upgraded with a new adaptive optics system. A specialized 10-m telescope, able to collect thousands of spectra simultaneously, will replace the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Another important frontier is the Thirty Meter Telescope; we remain hopeful that construction will begin in early 2018.
- On Haleakal ̄a, the largest solar telescope in the world will advance the frontiers of solar physics. The second Pan-STARRS telescope will improve the odds of finding new objects in the solar system, especially asteroids that come close to the Earth. The ATLAS telescope, paired with one on Maunaloa, will find dangerous asteroids on a collision course with the Earth. A dedicated high-contrast PLANETS (Polarized Light from Atmospheres of Nearby Extra-Terrestrial Systems) telescope is also planned.
- Elsewhere, we hope to build additional ATLAS telescopes in the southern hemisphere. There is a proposal for a Hawai‘i Orbiting Survey Telescope (HOST) to conduct sky surveys, and also the possibility of working jointly with the European Space Agency’s Euclid mission to measure the cosmological acceleration of the Universe.
With these wonderful resources and an ongoing investment in our world-class faculty and students, the IfA will pursue a vibrant range of research programs making discoveries we cannot even imagine today. Through our education and community programs, we will engage the next generation of astronomers with the amazing opportunities we enjoy in our own backyard, and ensure that the IfA and Hawai‘i remain exceptional places for astronomy for at least 50 more years.