Pasadena, CA – 19 December, 2018 – The TMT project recently hosted its yearly Science Forum in Pasadena, CA, where the project’s headquarters is located.
The sixth annual Thirty Meter Telescope Science Forum was attended by nearly 160 participants coming from all countries across the TMT partnership. The theme of this year’s Forum was "Breakthrough Science with the Thirty Meter Telescope," and discussions at the Forum focused on describing the science programs that future users of the TMT will implement when the telescope is operational in the late 2020s.
This focus on science was a natural outcome based on previous Forums in Japan and India, which also explored the instruments that will equip the TMT over its first decade of operations. The meeting also featured parallel sessions led by the TMT International Science Development Teams (ISDTs) to detail the breakthrough science programs designed by future TMT users.
Presentations and exchanges included topics such as Cosmology and the early universe, Local universe/Nearby-galaxies & SMBH studies, Planetary formation, Stellar evolution, Death of Stars, and the interstellar medium (ISM).
An abundance of ideas and messages were drawn from the ISDT working sessions and shared with all Forum participants during the final plenary session.
Additionally, Forum participants toured the TMT technical laboratory, located in the Pasadena vicinity, where they were provided with a thorough description of the advancements made in the Mirror Segment Support Assembly process.
In conclusion, the TMT Forum was an opportunity to develop and strengthen ties between TMT and U.S. astronomers from outside the current partner institutions (Caltech and the University of California, along with international partners Canada, China, India, and Japan). It was also a valuable time for the U.S. TMT Science Working Group to gather more information on U.S. community interests and aspirations regarding large science projects with TMT.