Exploring Into Darkness

WISH is a space science mission project whose primary goal is to reveal the first-generation galaxies in the early young universe. We launch a 1.5m-aperture telescope equipped with 0.5-degree-diameter wide-field NIR camera by 2020 in order to conduct ultra-deep and wide-area sky survey with the depth that cannot have been achieved by previous ground-based telescopes. WISH will be a very powerful and unique facility not only to search for the first-generation objects, but also to probe dark energy through type-Ia SNe as well as strong/weak-lensing phenomena and to study the galaxy evolution across the Hubble time. Its capability is of course not limited to extragalactic science. The Galactic structure and solar system bodies are also within the scope of the mission.

Foundation of the WISH working-group has been approved by the JAXA/ISAS Space Science Committee in Sept. 2008. WISH team so far developed the basic scientific goals, specifications of telescope, camera and satellite, and we are executing research, development and tests on essential technical components in order to prepare for the JAXA/ISAS AO for future program that is expected in near future. Meanwhile, international interest for WISH is growing. In 2012, two proposals for Missions of Opportunities were submitted to NASA in the US and CNES in France.

At this stage, we would like to have an opportunity to discuss the central mission science cases, namely the “Galaxies beyond Cosmic Reionization” and “Cosmic Expansion Histories and Dark Energy” as well as the new insight in many other fields of astronomy achieved by the WISH survey strategy and by the campaign programs for auxiliary science. The meeting is opened to the international colleagues, current and potential partners. The program will consist of talks and discussions exploring WISH science cases, survey strategy, and instruments including the optional spectrograph.