After completing its Final Design Review (FDR), SPIRou has now entered the construction and integration phase.
Time was thus ripe to start working on the overall science preparation for SPIRou, and in particular on the detailed definition of the SPIRou Legacy Survey (SLS), i.e., the 500-night survey on a 5-yr timescale accompanying the implementation of the instrument at CFHT. The SLS is dedicated to the two main science goals of SPIRou, i.e., the quest for habitable Earth-like planets around M dwards, and the study of low-mass star & planet formation in the presence of magnetic fields, as well as to tightly connected topics (e.g., the activity and magnetic topologies of M dwarfs). Thanks to its high Legacy content, the SLS is expected to be extremely useful for a wide variety of other science programs of high interest for the whole community.
The first SPIRou Science Meeting was held in Paris (Campus de Jussieu and IAP) on 2014 Sept 22-25 and gathered some ~70 scientists from ~10 countries, in particular those involved in SPIRou, i.e., France, Canada, Brazil, Switzerland, Portugal and Taiwan. The main goal of this meeting was to initiate the overall science preparation for SPIRou and that of the SLS in particular, and to iterate with the community on how to distribute the work and associated responsibilities.
The SPIRou Science Meeting concentrated on the main following topics :
- Sept. 22: session on the SPIRou RV survey of nearby M-dwarfs
- Sept. 23: session on the SPIRou follow-up of transiting planets
- Sept. 24: session on the SPIRou magnetic survey of low-mass protostars
- Sept. 25 – morning : session on other science topics w/ SPIRou
- Sept. 25 – afternoon : session dedicated to the organisation of the SLS
The workshop was very fruitful, and allowed in particular the science team to converge on a first list of the science work packages of the SLS.
More (technical) information about the workshop is available from the meeting webpage.