Astrophysics Department Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Thursday, Oct 3, 2019
by Department of Astrophysical Sciences

The Princeton Astrophysics Department has a decades-long record of collaboration and interaction with the Japanese astronomical community.  In 2008, the Department officially joined the Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC)collaboration by entering into a formal agreement with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).   HSC, a wide-field imaging camera on one of the largest telescopes in the world, is carrying out a massive survey of the sky and yielding scientific insights on topics ranging from the distribution of dark matter in the universe to the properties of the most distant quasars.   This has led to a number of additional major joint projects, including the Subaru Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with HiCIAO/AO188 (SEEDS), the CHARIS integral field spectrograph, and the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS)

On September 25, 2019, a delegation from NAOJ visited Princeton to sign a renewal Memorandum of Understanding, extending the collaboration for another five years.   Over this time, Princeton, NAOJ, and a number of other partners will carry out a massive spectroscopic survey of stars and galaxies with the PFS instrument.  We are also exploring a variety of joint interests in computational astrophysics, and in the search and characterization of planets around other stars.  We look forward to continuing what has been a very scientifically productive partnership! 

Those present at the MOU signing include (from left to right):

Satoshi Miyazaki, NAOJ (and Principal Investigator of the HSC instrument and survey)

Ed Turner, Princeton University, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences

Saku Tsuneta, Director General of NAOJ

Pablo Debenedetti, Princeton University, Dean for Research

Michael Strauss, Princeton University, Department Chair and Professor of Astrophysical Sciences

Kaz Sekiguchi, Executive Assistant to NAOJ Director General

Hiroshi Karoji, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, Japan

Michitoshi Yoshida, Director of Subaru Telescope