Institution(s): 1. MSE Project Office
The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) is designed to fill arguable the single biggest gap in the future landscape of optical/infrared facilities, namely 10-m class, wide-field, fully dedicated multi-object spectroscopy. MSE is unique among future astronomy facilities due to its combination of (i) 10-m class aperture and superior sensitivity (ii) broad range of spectral resolutions (iii) dedicated mode of operation (iv) long lifetime. MSE is technically and operationally optimized to excel at delivering high-quality spectra of faint targets, and as such it will explore the faint Universe that is beyond the grasp of smaller or general-purpose facilities. Examples include in- situ analysis of the chemical evolution of the most metal-deficient halo stars at ~100kpc, and statistical analysis of the broad line regions of high-redshift quasar populations through systematic reverberation mapping surveys. Collaborative opportunities between MSE and other facilities – LSST, WFIRST, Euclid, the SKA, etc. – are numerous, and no other facility comes near to providing the required follow-up capabilities for these projects. In this talk, I will discuss the scientific context and potential of MSE, specifically focussing on the derivation of the key science requirements for the facility. I will show how these requirements flow-down to technical subsystems to ensure MSE is optimised to become a forefront astronomical resource for the 2020s and beyond.