Keck Observatory Donor Salon: The Keck Discovery Engine: A Transformative New Capability for Science

Guest Speaker:

Dr. John O’Meara

Chief Scientist

W.M. Keck Observatory

Keck has maintained leadership in astronomy for three decades because of the creativity of its community, the nimbleness of its observing model, and the power of its telescope, instrumentation, and site on Maunakea. As Keck enters the era of even larger telescopes on the ground, it must leverage these strengths in new ways to continue and expand its leadership and impact. An exciting new capability coming to the observatory will be the Keck Discovery Engine. The Discovery Engine will combine the powers of Ultra-wide, ultra deep imaging (a first for Keck), massively multiplexed spectroscopy (increasing our multiplexing by a factor of ten), and an artificial intelligence layer linking the two, providing the ability for Keck to perform in a single night, the science that would otherwise take one to two years. In this talk, John describes the Discovery Engine, it’s transformative capabilities, and explores its future science. Additionally, John briefly discusses the results of Astro2020, the Decadal Survey that sets the path for astronomy in the United States for the coming decades, and how Keck can play a critical role.



The staff and management of the W. M. Keck Observatory wish to offer our deepest gratitude to our Astronomy Talk Series sponsors, Rob and Terry Ryan.