National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Scientific Goals and Missions - Subaru Telescope


The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) will enhance the observational capabilities of the Subaru Telescope, the large optical-infrared telescope at the summit of Maunakea on the Hawaii Island, to provide the international scientific community with its capabilities mainly through large-scale survey observations with ultra-wide-field imaging and spectroscopy, to explore the structural evolution of the universe and the origin of the elements..


The missions of this project are:

  1. to provide a stably operational telescope, maximize the availability of observing time, and make the operations user-friendly to facilitate science for broader communities;
  2. to collect and deliver high-quality data sets to the scientific community by operating, maintaining and further developing a state-of-the-art observatory; and
  3. to produce outcomes to meet the scientific requirements from broader fields of research and obtain fair evaluation from the scientific community.

Primary Scientific Goals

The primary scientific goals of this project are:

  1. To determine the nature of dark matter and dark energy and to determine neutrino masses using the ultra-wide-field prime focus camera HSC and the ultra-wide-field multi-object spectrograph PFS ;
  2. To realize an unprecedented wide-field deep survey of the universe with the wide-field high-resolution infrared instrument ULTIMATE, to elucidate the nature of objects born in the early universe, and to reveal the evolution of galaxies through large-scale survey observations using PFS and HSC.;
  3. To explore the origin of the elements by observing black holes, neutron star mergers, and neutrino bursts with HSC, PFS, and ULTIMATE, in cooperation with gravitational wave telescopes, neutrino observatories, and other telescopes; and
  4. Promote indirect exploration of Earth-like exoplanets using the near-infrared Doppler spectrograph IRD and the extreme adaptive optics SCExAO in close collaboration with the Astrobiology Center, leading to direct imaging using TMT in the future.

Target Date

End of March 2032