HECTOR Science Workshop

AAO North Ryde, 8 April 2015

9am to 5pm, Meeting Rooms 1 & 2

HECTOR Science Workshop 2015


We would like to invite you to a full day science workshop on the 8th April 2015 to discuss the key

science the community would like to achieve with the upcoming HECTOR instrument.




The aim of the workshop is a combination of science talks and discussion. We invite any

astronomers who can envisage using HECTOR for their science, to give a presentation on that science

with particular discussion of the wavelength range, resolution and field-of-view that will fulfill your

science objectives.


What is HECTOR?


HECTOR will be a new multi-object IFU instrument for the AAT. It builds on the success of the SAMI

instrument and will have substantially more capability with 50-100 imaging fibre bundles (hexabundles)

over a 2-3 degree field. A primary driver for building HECTOR is to undertake an IFU survey of 100,000

galaxies in the nearby universe in order to disentangle the complexities of galaxy formation.

Currently we are in the process of defining key parameters for HECTOR, which must be driven by the

science requirements. Key features are:-

1. The instrument will be at the prime focus of the AAT, with either a 2-degree-field or 3-degree-field top

end, with between 50-100 hexabundles to simultaneously image 50-100 galaxies.

2. Hexabundles can vary in size. The current SAMI hexabundles have a 15 arcsec diameter, however

a combination of these and larger sized bundles are being considered depending on the science need.

3. The hexabundles will feed into new custom-built and optimised spectrographs.

4. The resolution will be R>4000 in the red but less in the blue. If your key science case has specific

resolution requirements, this is the day to come and present it.

5. HECTOR will be an optical instrument, to span the key lines upwards of 3727A. The upper limit in

the red depends on the science needs to extend beyond [SII] 6716,6731A to redder lines such as the Ca triplet lines (8498-8662A).


What do you need to do?


Come and give your opinion while HECTOR is in the design phase, so it will meet your science needs.

• If you plan to come, please register here for catering purposes and for security to issue day passes

(Photo identification will be required.)

• If you would like to give a talk then you also need to email your talk title and a few sentence

abstract to jbryant@physics.usyd.edu.au by 5th March.

• If you cannot make it but have opinions on HECTOR science then please do email me well

ahead of the meeting so I can ensure your opinions are aired in the discussion.


Event details

Date/Time :                  8th April 2014,    9am - 5pm.

Abstract deadline:        5th March, 2015

Registration Deadline: 12th March 2015

Lunch will be provided.

Location: AAO headquarters at North Ryde in meeting room 1 and 2.

The AAO North Ryde offices are ~700m from the North Ryde train station, see

https://www.aao.gov.au/files/AAO_Visitor_Traffic_Plan_Final.pdf for visitor

parking information. If you enter the complex from Delhi Road, the reception

and Meeting Room 1 are located in the building on the right.


The workshop is limited to a maximum of ~50 people.


Julia Bryant

HECTOR project scientist




The registration for this workshop has closed.

The meeting was held on 8 April 2015.



1st session (chair Jon Lawrence):


9:00-9:05      Welcome by Warrick Couch, AAO Director

9:05-9:15      Joss Bland-Hawthorn – “Introduction to HECTOR: Motivation & science drive”

9:15-9:30      Julia Bryant – “Introduction to HECTOR: Instrument overview and timeline”

9:30-10:30    Will Saunders & Robert Content – “Spectrograph constraints”

10:30-11:00  Lisa Kewley – “HECTOR science and CAASTRO-3D”


Morning Tea (provided)


2nd session (chair Julia Bryant):

11:20-11:45  Scott Croom – “Going beyond SAMI”

11:45-12:05  Ken Freeman – “Galactic bulges”

12:05-12:25  Karl Glazebrook – “Putting a new spin on angular momentum” 

12:25-12:40  Luca Cortese – “The need for large bundles for HECTOR galaxy surveys“

12:40-1:00    Ned Taylor – “Prospects for using an optical IFU survey for dark matter cosmology”


Lunch (provided)


3rd session (chair Scott Croom):

2:00-2:20     Jesse van de Sande – “The assembly history of galaxies from high-order kinematic features with SAMI and HECTOR”

2:20-2:35     Nic Scott – “HECTOR and the IMF”

2:35-2:55     Rebecca Davies – “The importance of spectral resolution for probing the physics of AGN with Integral Field Spectroscopy”

2:55-3:10     Dane Kleiner – “HECTOR observations of filaments of galaxies within 6dFGS” 

3:10-3:30     Luke Davies - "The Wide Area VISTA Extragalactic Survey (WAVES)"


Afternoon Tea (provided)


3:45-4:00    Richard McDermid – “Science motivation for red coverage of Hector”


4:00-5:00    Discussion session (chaired by panel of 3: Julia, Jon and Richard):


1. Wavelength range (3700, need for >~7500A?)

2. Resolution (across blue and red and/or around certain lines)

3. Bundle size: to how many Re, vs spatial elements

4. Trade-offs: Which of the latter 3 can be sacrificed for others -> ranking of priorities.







 ABSTRACTS (some not provided yet):


Joss “Introduction to HECTOR: Motivation & science drive”:

Julia “Introduction to HECTOR: Instrument overview and timeline”:

Will & Robert “Spectrograph constraints”:

Lisa Kewley “HECTOR science for CAASTRO-3D”:

Scott C “Going beyond SAMI”:

Ken Freeman “Bulges and disks”:

There are two main kinds of galactic bulges: the classical spheroidal bulges as in the Sombrero galaxy, and the boxy bulges as in the Milky

Way. The classical bulges are believed to be merger-related, but the boxy bulges appear to be unrelated to mergers - they are believed to form from instabilities of the disk itself. Their chemical properties are therefore closely related to the properties of the disks from which they formed, and they have markedly different kinematics from those of the classical bulges. There are also the pseudo-bulges, which masquerade as bulges but are actually flat disk-like structures.  

HECTOR will be well-suited to diagnosing these different systems.

I will briefly review what we know about their chemical and dynamical properties.


Karl Glazebrook “Putting a new spin on angular momentum”:

We expand the work of Obreschkow & Glazebrook (2014) to a sample of clumpy turbulent disks at z~0.1, analogous to z~2 disks (the DYNAMO sample) and measure specific angular momentum to within 20% of total.  We find low value of the specific angular momentum for the stellar mass, indicative that the fundamental driver of galaxy instability over cosmic time is angular momentum evolution. This is nicely explained in a simple physical framework.  If angular momentum is the true driver of galactic evolution the ability to map it's distribution in time and space will be transformational for galaxy formation studies.


Luca Cortese “The need for a large bundle size for HECTOR galaxy surveys”:

Current IFU surveys such as CALIFA, SAMI and MANGA will soon revolutionise our view of how nearby galaxies form and evolve. However, given their limited field-of-view, the core of their science will come from the analysis of the very inner regions of galaxies (i.e., within one effective radius) leaving their outer parts, which bear crucial information on the dynamical, enrichment and star formation history, completely unexplored. Moreover, in the case of SAMI, the small field-of-view combined with the typical atmospheric condition at Siding Springs, implies that the number of independent elements in a bundle is rather small. In this talk, I will discuss why a next generation IFU survey carried out at the Anglo-Australia Telescope, such as HECTOR, should be designed to have a field of view at least twice as big as the current SAMI bundle. Some of the main advantages of this design will be: 1) Increase of the number of independent elements in a bundle, 2) Ability to investigate the very outer parts (i.e., up to two Re) and/or improve our knowledge of the very inner parts of galaxies, 3) Bridge the current gap between the SAMI field-of-view and the spatial resolution of upcoming ASKAP HI surveys.

Ned Taylor “Prospects for using an optical IFU survey for dark matter cosmology”:

I will describe how the observed velocity fields of stably rotating galaxies can be used to detect and measure the effect of weak gravitational lensing by an intervening mass concentration.  I will briefly outline the progress that we have been making in our efforts to pioneer this new approach, which can is uniquely suited to individual galaxy-galaxy lensing systems at low redshift.  I will also discuss the prospects for using this technique to measure cosmic lensing statistics, and so to obtain proper 3D tomographic information about the large scale distribution of dark matter in the local universe.


Jesse Van de Sande  “The assembly history of galaxies from high-order kinematic features with SAMI and HECTOR”:

For fast rotating galaxies, a strong anti-correlation exists between the higher-order Gauss-Hermite moment h3 and the anisotropy parameter (v/sigma) (e.g., Bender et al. 1994). Recent cosmological hydro simulations suggest that with integral field spectrographs such as SAMI and HECTOR, it is possible to connect the observable higher-order stellar kinematic features in galaxies to their cosmological assembly history (Naab et al. 2014). These simulations show that fast rotators with gas-rich merger histories have a strong h3-(v/sigma) correlation, while fast rotators with gas-poor mergers do not, due to the absence of a dissipative gas component. In this talk, I will present the key-results from Naab et al. 2014, and discus the importance of optimising HECTOR's design for obtaining accurate measurements of the higher-order moments to study the assembly histories of galaxies.


Nic Scott  “HECTOR and the IMF”:

In the last few years interest in the Initial Mass Function (IMF) within external galaxies has exploded, after two independent results indicated a systematic variation of the form of the IMF with host galaxy properties. After this initial excitement, further study has muddied this initially clear picture. By simultaneously estimating the IMF from both dynamical and stellar population based techniques for a large sample of galaxies, HECTOR could un-muddy these waters, providing a significant leap forward in our understanding of the nature of star formation in external galaxies.


Rebecca Davies “The importance of spectral resolution for probing the physics of AGN with Integral Field Spectroscopy”

The emission signatures of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) consist of many kinematic components originating from the narrow and broad line regions, outflows and underlying HII regions in the galaxy disc. The ability to disentangle the physics of AGN emission is thus very dependent on spectral resolution. We compare observations of local Seyfert 1 & 2 hosts taken with WiFeS at R_red ~ 7000, R_blue ~ 3000 to similar observations taken with SAMI at R_red ~ 4500 and R_blue ~ 1700. We show that the higher spectral resolution of the WiFeS data both increases the diagnostic power of velocity dispersion (e.g. for detecting outflows and ionization cones) and significantly improves the characterisation of the AGN spectra. We degrade the spectral resolution of a WiFeS data cube and discuss the impact of this degradation on the ability to resolve multiple emission lines or narrow components close in wavelength to strong broad components. We also present comparisons of the LZIFU multi-component fits at different spectral resolutions and analyse how e.g. the densities measured from the ratio of the [S II] lines change as a function of spectral resolution.


Dane Kleiner “HECTOR observations of filaments of galaxies within 6dFGS”:

A multi-wavelength understanding of the different components of galaxies is required to fully understand their evolution. As galaxies travel along the cosmic web, their gas content is depleted and star formation quenched. Our study aims to understand what conditions are required for these phenomena. We preset preliminary results of what can be achieved through spectral stacking of neutral hydrogen. The galaxies are optically selected (6dFGS) and this technique is particularly powerful for measuring the HI content of galaxies which can't be directly detected. This study will be significantly advanced by the use of HECTOR which can provide star formation rates and detailed spectral line measurements which can be linked to the available gas in the galaxies. 

Luke Davies “The Wide Area VISTA Extragalactic Survey (WAVES)”:

The Wide Area VISTA Extragalactic Survey (WAVES) is an upcoming 2-3million galaxy redshift survey on the VISTA-4MOST instrument. The survey will be split into a low-z (z<0.25) photo-z preselected r<22 sample covering 750deg^2 (WAVES-wide) and a magnitude limited r<22 sample covering 100deg^2 and probing galaxies out to z~1 (WAVES-deep). Key science goals of the WAVES project are: containing the dark matter particle mass from the low mass end of the halo mass function, probing the spectroscopically confirmed LSB and dwarf galaxy regime to ~3 magnitude/arcsec^2 fainter than SDSS, decomposing the evolution of bulges and discs in the last ~8Gyr and witnessing the buildup of stellar mass in the galaxies through mergers and SF. The WAVES-wide sample will form an ideal input catalogue for the proposed 100,000 galaxy HECTOR survey, building on the current synergies between GAMA and SAMI. I will discuss the details of WAVES, the current status of the project and why WAVES+HECTOR synergies will strongly benefit both projects. 

 Richard McDermid “Science motivation for red coverage of Hector”:

I will review some of the unique scientific advantages of having red coverage (>7000 Angstrom) included in the design of the Hector instrument. This will include consideration of direct measurements of the stellar IMF, derivation of star formation histories, and measuring stellar kinematics in galaxies with complex stellar populations and ongoing star formation. I will also review some of the difficulties of working in this wavelength regime, and what requirements this may impose on spectral resolution, sky subtraction and correction of telluric absorption.




Name Affiliation
Adam Schaefer University Of Sydney
Andrew Hopkins AAO
Andrew Hopkins AAO
Andy Green AAO
Angel Australian Astronomical Observatory
Angel Lopez-Sanchez AAO/MQ
Chris Lidman AAO
Chris Power ICRAR/UWA
Colin Navin Macquarie University
Dane Kleiner Monash University
Geraint Lewis University of Sydney
Gordon Robertson University of Sydney and AAO
Gregory Goldstein Macquarie University
Heath Jones Macquarie University
Henry Poetrodjojo Australian National University
I-Ting Ho University of Hawaii
Iraklis Konstantopoulos Australian Astronomical Observatory
its me its me
James Allen University of Sydney
Jesse van de Sande SIFA
Jon Lawrence AAO
Joss Bland-Hawthorn U Sydney
Joss Bland-Hawthorn U Sydney
Joss Bland-Hawthorn U Sydney
Julia Bryant AAO/Usyd
Karl Glazebrook Swinburne
Ken Freeman ANU
Lisa Kewley ANU
Luca Cortese Swinburne University of Technology
Luke Barnes University of Sydney
Luke Davies University of Western Australia
Matt Owers Macquarie University and AAO
Michael Goodwin Australian Astronomical Observatory
Ned Taylor Uni Melbourne
Nicholas Scott University of Sydney
Peter Gillingham AAO
Peter Kamphuis CSIRO Astronomy & Space Sciences
Rebecca Davies Australian National University
Rebecca McElroy University of Sydney
Richard McDermid Macquarie University / AAO
Rob Sharp ANU
Robert Content Australian Astronomical Observatory
Samuel Nathan Richards USyd / AAO / CAASTRO
Sarah Brough AAO
Sarah Sweet ANU
Scott Croom Usyd
Thorsten Tepper García University of Sydney (SIfA)
Warrick Couch AAO
Will Saunders AAO

Here you will find most of the talks that were presented at the Hector Science Workshop.

Not all speakers chose to provide their talks.


Joss Bland-Hawthorn's talk:


Julia Bryant's talk:


Will Saunder's talk:


Robert Content's talk:


Scott Croom's talk:


Lisa Kewley's talk:


Luca Cortese's talk:


Jesse van de Sande's talk:


Nic Scott's talk:


Rebecca Davies' talk:


Dane Kleiner's talk:


Luke Davies' talk:


Richard McDermid's talk: