observing distant objects corresponds to watching their appearences in the past



1.What are you doing in astronomy

The evolution of galaxies is a current main topic of astronomy. What intrigue me most are the origin of galaxies and their evolution of galaxies from 13 billion years ago when they were born. To perform the research, we need the most powerful instruments which can reach such distance. About ten years ago, our group invented a novel instrument which had excellent performance in infrared imaging and spectroscopy. The instrument was developed with the collaboration of National Astronomical Observatory Japan for Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. Using this instrument, we found very young galaxies at 12 billion light-years away, which are supposed to be early analogs of our Galaxy. The instrument is now in operation for the observations not only of galaxies but also other astronomical targets. It is open to international community of astronomers. My prospective research is exoplanet search. Earth-like planets in other planet systems intrigues our group. The best astronomical site on earth for the exoplanet search is expected in inland Antarctica. The dry and clear sky in low temperature will give us the opportunity for the research of atmosphere in exoplanets with water vapor, which is the most important molecule for life. I had been in Antarctica. My student joined in the wintering party. We built a small astronomical observatory with small telescopes at Dome Fuji station (National Institute of Polar Research Japan), which is located at 1000km away from the shore Syowa station. The site evaluation at Dome Fuji is now going on by our group for future large telescope.

2.What originally motivated you to be astronomer?

I wanted to be a scientist since I was in an elementary school. In junior high school, I happened to read an introductory book of physics, where the structure of the universe enthralled me. Then I decided to be an astronomer. Though I had a tough time to survive as an astronomer, I got my Ph.D. degree and became professor in astronomy. My dream has finally come true.

3.Any advice for prospective students?

I believe that universities are the place where you find the way guiding to your prospective future. The university life as a student is the most important time to make your dream come true. There are many of classes you can choose of you will. There are many chances to meet friends and professors who would change your future. So, in other words, you will see many possibilities in the university. Please find your future in the variety which the university provides you. Let me tell you about my case. Once I wanted to be a theoretical astronomer when I entered the university. In my third grade, a class of astronomical observations suddenly changed my way. I found my strong points in experiment, not in theoretical approach. I enjoyed very much observations and experiment. Since then, I developed my ability in observational astronomy and instrumentation. In the university, getting good scores in all classes would not be important. More important thing is to find your strong points and develop them for your future profession.