Throughout stellar and exoplanetary astrophysics, magnitude-limited medium-resolution spectral surveys have been key for determining which stars are young, which are evolved, and to which population each star belongs. However, this basic data is available for only the ~200,000 stars in the hundred-year old HD catalog. The AAO's Starbugs technology will enable an entirely new generation of rapid, medium-resolution stellar spectroscopic survey. No other competing technology comes even close to providing the rapid redeployment required for surveys targetting millions of bright stars.
The FunnelWeb survey will exploit this technology on the planned TAIPAN spectrograph, to target the 2 million stars with V=5.7-12 south of +30 degrees at medium resolution, in only 100 clear nights of observing time. The resulting survey data set would become the 21st century's HD catalogue with both an order of magnitude more stars and an order of magnitude more independent spectral information per star - identifying young stars to use as targets for direct imaging searches for exoplanets; providing an input catalogue for NASA's TESS transit search mission; linking the RAVE and GALAH Galactic archaeology surveys; providing a spectral library for all-sky asteroseismology; mapping out stellar populations and the 3D dust distribution in the nearest kpc in detail; and enabling numerous other stellar astrophysics projects.
Community members interested in joining this new program are encouraged to get involved by registering for the upcoming FunnelWeb Science Workshop.