The US Decadal Survey ranks the Extremely Large Telescope program as top priority

Giant Magellan Telescope Mirrors
With of seven of the world’s largest mirrors ever constructed, the future GMT will provide ten times better resolution than the Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: GMTO Corporation/M3 Engineering.

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project has been given a positive boost by the recent release of the 2020 United States Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics (Astro2020) – Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s.

A foundational report outlining scientific priorities and investments over the next ten years, Astro2020 has placed the US Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) at the top of its list of priorities for ground-based astronomy. Evaluated as a core partner of the US-ELTP, the GMT project is currently under construction and Astro2020 has also recommended that federal support be provided to help the telescope achieve final completion.

As one of the founding partners of the GMT, AAL is delighted by the recommendations contained within Astro2020. With a mission to facilitate access for Australian-based astronomers to the best research infrastructure, AAL joined the Australian National University (ANU) in supporting the project during its early stages, with Australia currently holding a 10% share in GMT project. The GMTO Corporation, responsible for the development and operation of the GMT project, is also supported by a consortium of institutions in the USA, Brazil, Korea and Israel. 

For more information on the recommendations of Astro2020 (pertaining to the GMT project), please see this link. For more on the GMT itself, please see the project website.  For more on AAL’s role as a founding partner, please contact AAL’s CEO Mark McAuley.

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