A research institute in South Korea, the Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), has acquired 22 nights of UKIRT time in 2012.
The science project to be carried out during this time is the UKIRT Widefield Infrared Survey for Fe+. The objective of this programme is to map 110 square degrees of the galactic plane using a bespoke Fe+ filter, to be supplied by KASI. Emission from Fe+ is a good tracer of dense, shock-excited gas, and the programme will therefore provide valuable insight into star formation and stellar feedback mechanisms. This survey will complement the existing UKIRT Widefield Infrared Survey for H2, and when taken together these data will probe dynamically-active components of star-forming regions, the circumstellar medium around evolved stars and the interstellar medium. The survey will also complement existing or upcoming surveys (e.g., UKIDSS-GPS, Spitzer-GLIMPSE, Spitzer-MIPSGAL, Akari, Herschel Hi-Gal, JCMT JPS). The project team includes collaborating astronomers from Korea and around the world, including two science staff at the Joint Astronomy Centre.
KASI is the second Korean organisation to obtain time on UKIRT, the first being the Centre for the Exploration of the Origin of the Universe, a research group at Seoul National University. Together, the two groups will have access to 62 nights of observing time in 2012.