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Providing Access for US Astronomers to the Next Generation of Large Ground Based OIR Telescopes : 

Providing Access for US Astronomers to the Next Generation of Large Ground Based OIR Telescopes Scientific Potential Current Design Efforts Complementarity with JWST Community Involvement

The NAS/NRC Decadal Survey Report: : 

The NAS/NRC Decadal Survey Report: “The Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope (GSMT), the committee’s top ground-based recommendation….is a 30-m-class ground-based telescope that will be a powerful complement to [JWST] in tracing the evolution of galaxies and the formation of stars and planets.” “The committee recommends that technology development for GSMT begin immediately and that construction start within the decade.”

Community Vision for GSMT:The GSMT Science Working Group : 

Community Vision for GSMT:The GSMT Science Working Group At NSF’s request, AURA’s New Initiatives Office convened a Science Working Group (SWG) to “advise the NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences on a strategy for guiding federal investment in a Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope (GSMT).” With a broad membership base from national and international groups that expect to play a role in developing next-generation telescopes, the SWG, chaired by Rolf-Peter Kudritzki, gave their first report to the NSF in 2003, June: Frontier Science Enabled by a Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope

GSMT’s Science Working Group Report: Science : 

GSMT’s Science Working Group Report: Science “The unique challenge of astronomy in the 21st century is to study ‘the evolution of the universe in order to relate causally the physical conditions during the Big Bang to the development of RNA and DNA’ (Riccardo Giacconi). A 20-m to 30-m telescope will provide the unprecedented capability to meet this challenge.”

GSMT’s Science Working Group Report: Synergy with JWST : 

GSMT’s Science Working Group Report: Synergy with JWST “In order to reap the enormous potential synergy between the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and a 20-m to 30-m telescope, it is essential to initiate major design and technology development efforts now to ensure that facility operations coincide with the early JWST era.”

GSMT’s Science Working Group Report: Community Involvement : 

GSMT’s Science Working Group Report: Community Involvement “Federal investment now in a major technology development program targeted at key areas can advance multiple design programs, and will ensure a strong public voice at all stages in the development of next-generation telescopes.” NSF should “’seize the moment’ and provide funding for advancing key technologies”.

GSMT’s Science Working Group Report: Technology : 

GSMT’s Science Working Group Report: Technology While there are significant technical challenges to building telescopes of this size, there appear to be no show stoppers Adaptive optics systems will be critical to the success of a GSMT and are a key challenge, but Advanced AO systems have moved from the lab to the telescope and have become a routine tool for the study of phenomena on all scales – from planets and their atmospheres in our own solar system, extra-solar planetary formation and debris disks around stars, to black holes and extra galactic systems.

The Use of Adaptive Optics Systems for Data Collection is Steadily Increasing : 

The Use of Adaptive Optics Systems for Data Collection is Steadily Increasing

GSMT & JWST – The Power of Two : 

GSMT & JWST – The Power of Two The top two priority missions of the 2001 Decadal Survey in Astronomy and Astrophysics Each gives orders of magnitude gain in sensitivity over existing ground and space telescopes Complementary capabilities and unique discovery spaces of each telescope open a new, exciting epoch for cosmic discovery

Statement by the AAAC in Annual Report:Science and Synergy with JWST : 

Statement by the AAAC in Annual Report:Science and Synergy with JWST “The ambitious science goals, which include understanding the formation of galaxies and the chemical elements within just the first one billion years of the Big Bang, and the formation of stars and planets, will only be fully realized through operational overlap of the facilities, as HST and large-ground based telescopes have demonstrated over the last decade. Progress on these scientific objectives is heavily dependent on GSMT being developed on the same timescale as JWST.”

Percentage of Refereed HST Papers with Ground based OIR “support” : 

Percentage of Refereed HST Papers with Ground based OIR “support”

Key Actions taken by AURA in Support of Decadal Survey’s call for a GSMT: : 

Key Actions taken by AURA in Support of Decadal Survey’s call for a GSMT: Engaged the community to define the science capabilities required for a GSMT Developed a point design for a GSMT in order to study design options and identify technology challenges Entered into a partnership with UC, Caltech and ACURA (CANADA) to carry out the design and development phase for a 30-meter telescope – TMT in order to: Ensure access by US community to 30-meter class telescope via public-private partnership as recommended by the Decadal Survey Involve the community during Design & Development phase Submitted proposal to NSF in order to: Support public participation in TMT partnership, and Advance the design of an alternative GSMT concept

AURA’s NSF Proposal Will provide support to more than one GSMT design study : 

AURA’s NSF Proposal Will provide support to more than one GSMT design study US leadership in astronomy has depended on a broad range of public and private OIR facilities 1948 – one 5-meter - Palomar 1970’s – 3-4m telescopes (CTIO, KPNO, CFHT, Lick, IRTF) 1990s – 6-10 m telescopes: (Keck, Magellan, Gemini, MMT, HET, LBT) 21st century – TMT, GMT, … AURA provides public access to first ranked facilities through partnerships (Gemini, WIYN, SOAR…) and TSIP (Keck, HET, MMT, Magellan …)

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