The 4m Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) currently under construction on Haleakala, Maui will be the world’s largest solar telescope. Designed to meet the needs of critical high resolution and high sensitivity spectral and polarimetric observations of the sun, this facility will perform key observations of our nearest star that matters most to humankind. DKIST’s superb resolution and sensitivity will enable astronomers to address many of the fundamental problems in solar and stellar astrophysics, including the origin of stellar magnetism, the mechanisms of coronal heating and drivers of the solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections and variability in solar and stellar output. DKIST will also address basic research aspects of Space Weather and help improve predictive capabilities. In combination with synoptic observations and theoretical modeling DKIST will unravel the many remaining mysteries of the Sun.The construction of DKIST is progressing on schedule with 80% of the facility complete. Operations are scheduled to begin early 2020. DKIST will replace the NSO facilities on Kitt Peak and Sac Peak with a national facility with worldwide unique capabilities. The design allows DKIST to operate as a coronagraph. Taking advantage of its large aperture and infrared polarimeters DKIST will be capable to routinely measure the currently illusive coronal magnetic fields. The state-of-the-art adaptive optics system provides diffraction limited imaging and the ability to resolve features approximately 20 km on the Sun. Achieving this resolution is critical for the ability to observe magnetic structures at their intrinsic, fundamental scales. Five instruments will be available at the start of operations, four of which will provide highly sensitive measurements of solar magnetic fields throughout the solar atmosphere - from the photosphere to the corona. The data from these instruments will be distributed to the world wide community via the NSO/DKIST data center located in Boulder. We present examples of science objectives and provide an overview of the facility and project status, including the ongoing efforts of the community to develop the critical science plan for the first 2-3 years of operations.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #232
- Pub Date:
- June 2018