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1st of February 2018
Launch of the TAIPAN facility
Taipan is a multi-object spectroscopic galaxy survey that will cover the whole southern sky and will obtain spectra for over 1 million galaxies in the local Universe (z<0.3) over 4 years. It will be the most comprehensive spectroscopic survey of the southern hemisphere ever undertaken. The Taipan galaxy survey will use the refurbished 1.2m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument which includes an innovative starbugs optical fibre positioner and a purpose-built spectrograph. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the present-day expansion rate of the Universe, H0, to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map of the mass distribution and motions in the local Universe using peculiar velocities; (iii) to understand the role of mass and environment in the evolution of galaxies. The TAIPAN instrument will also be used for the FunnelWeb stellar survey, which will characterise the brightest 2 million stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, and inform future studies of exoplanets that may orbit those stars.

The TAIPAN facility will be formally launched at the UK Schmidt Telescope today by Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation. The last stages of the commissioning of TAIPAN are nearing completion, with science verification currently anticipated to begin in April/May.

TAIPAN is part-funded by an Australia Research Council (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant, with CASS being one of a number of contributing research organisations.

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