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Two Subaru Telescope Customers Awarded 2023 MEXT Commendations for Science and Technologies | Subjects & Announcements

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May 25, 2023

Two up-and-coming astronomers received the Young Scientists’ Award of the 2023 Commendations for Science and Technologies by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technologies (MEXT) for their observational analysis employing the Subaru Telescope. The award winners are Dr. Hideki Umehata (Assistant Professor in Nagoya University) and Dr. Yuichi Harikane (Assistant Professor in the University of Tokyo).

The Young Scientists’ Award is awarded to researchers below the age of 40 (or 42 if the researcher has been unable to devote himself/herself to analysis for a period of time due to childbirth or childcare) who have produced outstanding analysis achievements. Dr. Umehata was recognized for his “analysis on the cosmic net filaments linking active galaxies in a protocluster,” even though Dr. Harikane was awarded for his “analysis on distant galaxies employing substantial observational datasets from the Subaru Telescope and other telescopes.”

Dr. Umehata has been conducting observations employing the Subaru Telescope and the Atacama Massive Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), to investigate the formation and evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes at nodes of the substantial-scale structure of the Universe 11.five billion years ago. In certain, employing the wide-field camera Suprime-Cam on the Subaru Telescope, he found an comprehensive structure of hydrogen gas connecting enormous galaxies and supermassive black holes, confirming the existence of “cosmic net” filaments that had lengthy been predicted by theory and simulations (Note 1). These benefits recommend that gas provide by way of the cosmic net plays a essential function in fueling the higher activity of enormous galaxies and supermassive black holes in the early Universe.

Figure 1: Dr. Hideki Umehata (Assistant Professor in Nagoya University), who received the Young Scientists’ Award. (Credit: Nagoya University)

“I am thrilled and honored to get such a fantastic award,” Dr. Umehata says. “I would like to take this chance to express my gratitude to all these who have been involved in this analysis, like my fellow collaborators. In this study, information obtained by Suprime-Cam played a considerable function in the discovery of the cosmic net. Now, employing its successor, Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC), we are exploring bigger structures in the cosmic net. With the upcoming launch of PFS (Prime Concentrate Spectrograph) and leveraging the strengths of the Subaru Telescope, I aspire to continue advancing research of the early Universe.”

Dr. Harikane has focused on observational analysis of distant galaxies and led the evaluation of substantial observational datasets from the Subaru Telescope to construct the world’s biggest sample of distant galaxies, consisting of four million objects, in the Universe ten to 13 billion years ago, which had not been previously studied in detail. He also answered the lengthy-standing query as to the physical origins of the star formation history of the complete Universe and identified a primordial galaxy cluster 13 billion years ago, the farthest on record at the time (Note two). Whilst creating many crucial discoveries, he has led the field of distant galaxy observation. He has also led teams of international researchers and has been awarded several observing instances on competitive telescopes such as NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s 1st-year operations plan and ALMA.

Two Subaru Telescope Users Awarded 2023 MEXT Commendations for Science and Technology Figure2

Figure two: Dr. Yuichi Harikane (Assistant Professor in the University of Tokyo), who received the Young Scientists’ Award. (Credit: Institute for Cosmic Ray Investigation, the University of Tokyo)

On getting the award, Dr. Harikane says, “I am honored to get such a prestigious award this time. The analysis employing Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) on the Subaru Telescope, which is recognized by the award, could not have been realized with out the help of the researchers at NAOJ, who have contributed to the improvement and operation of HSC and the Subaru Telescope. I would like to express my gratitude to all of my co-researchers and all these involved with the Subaru Telescope and HSC. I appear forward to additional establishing our analysis with PFS. I hope to have enjoyable top cutting-edge analysis projects.”

Dr. Harikane comments on the function of the Subaru Telescope in their study of the early Universe, “The Subaru Telescope is equipped with exceptional wide-field cameras that are not located on other eight-meter-class telescopes. Thanks to their wide-field capabilities, each Dr. Umehata and I have succeeded in constructing an overwhelmingly substantial sample of galaxies, discovering a uncommon primitive galaxy cluster, and exploring the cosmic net in the early Universe. From such observations, we located that the partnership amongst galaxies and gas in the substantial-scale structure of the Universe has played an crucial function in the formation and evolution of galaxies. Hunting ahead, we have higher expectations that observations with the upcoming PFS, as properly as the subsequent-generation Thirty Meter Telescope, will reveal the physical properties of person galaxies and shed light on the formation of galaxies in the early Universe.”

(Note 1) Huge Filaments Fuel the Development of Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes (Subaru Telescope October three, 2019 Press Release)

(Note two) Oldest Galaxy Protocluster types “Queen’s Court” (Subaru Telescope September 26, 2019 Press Release)

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