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Guiding the TMT Design by Studying Today’s Largest Telescopes
November 24th, 2010 Science & Astronomy

The Thirty Meter Telescope’s (TMT) primary mirror has much in common with the 10-meter mirrors on the Keck telescopes.

Conference on Astronomical Site Testing Data to be held in Valparaiso, Chile, December 1-3, 2010
November 19th, 2010

The testing campaign to identify the best site for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has been one of the most complete atmospheric studies in recent years. The TMT project office and the U.S. National Science Foundation provided funding for the site testing campaign, led jointly by the TMT and the Association of University Research in Astronomy (AURA).

TMT to Present 3-D Tour of the Universe at USA Science and Engineering Festival
October 19th, 2010

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will enable astronomers to explore the universe in unprecedented clarity when it achieves “first light” later this decade. The public, however, will get an exciting preview of what TMT will observe as part of the two-day expo for the USA Science and Engineering Festival, October 23 and 24 in Washington, D.C.

Thirty Meter Telescope Welcomes Recommendations of Decadal Survey
August 13th, 2010

On August 13, 2010, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released its Astro2010 report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, which indentified a Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope (GSMT) as crucial for ground-based astronomy in the coming decade. The report also recommended that the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) immediately select a GSMT partner.

Science with the Thirty Meter Telescope: The Young and Distant Universe
July 14th, 2010

Sometime during the first 300 million years after the Big Bang, the first tiny seeds of galaxies began to collapse and form stars. As these galaxies grew during the subsequent 300–400 million years they ionized the hydrogen gas that permeated the cosmos.

India Joins Thirty Meter Telescope Project
June 24th, 2010

The Minister of Science and Technology of India, Mr. Prithviraj Chavan, announced today the decision of India to join the Thirty Meter Telescope Project (TMT) as an Observer. TMT is the next-generation astronomical observatory that is scheduled to begin scientific operations in 2018 on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

TMT Co-sponsors Conference on Emerging Discipline -- Astroinformatics
June 16th, 2010

About a hundred experts in astronomy, information technology, and applied computer science have gathered at Caltech to define a new field at the intersection of these disciplines. The emerging field of astroinformatics reflects how science is changing in the 21st century, powered by the information-technology revolution.

Steidel to Receive 2010 Cosmology Prize of Gruber Foundation
June 16th, 2010

Charles Steidel, the Lee A. DuBridge Professor of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology and co-chair of the Thirty Meter Telescope Science Advisory Committee, is the recipient of the 2010 Cosmology Prize of The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation in recognition of his revolutionary studies of the most distant galaxies in the Universe.

TMT Project Scientist Jerry Nelson Wins Kavli Prize in Astrophysics
June 6th, 2010

Jerry Nelson, project scientist for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will share the $1 million Kavli Prize in Astrophysics with two other researchers for their innovations in the field of telescope design. Nelson’s engineering and scientific innovations enabled the building of a new class of large telescopes that revolutionized the science of astronomy.

TMT's Site Testing Campaign Subject of Public Lecture at Palomar
April 28th, 2010

Quest for the Best Window on the Universe: Location may be important in real estate, but it’s essential for astronomy, especially when the home you’re building is for the world’s most advanced and powerful telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).  But how do you find the best and what makes one site better than another?  

Exoplanet Detection with the Thirty Meter Telescope
April 1st, 2010

When the 10-meter Keck I telescope first became fully operational in 1992, the only planets known to exist were those in our own solar system. Models of planet formation dutifully reproduced the nine known examples, and most astronomers thought that when other planets were finally seen, those solar systems would look like our own, with giant Jovian planets in the outer regions and small rocky planets in the inner parts.

Mirror Segment Polishing Shines with New Methods
April 1st, 2010

One of the most important milestones in the development and construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is the precision polishing of TMT’s primary mirror segments. Each of the 492 hexagonal segments, which measure 1.44 meters across from corner-to-corner, must have a surface that is accurate to 100 nanometers (about 1,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper).

Public Roundtable: “Quest for a Living World”
March 12th, 2010

Astronomers have found more than 400 alien worlds orbiting distant stars. So far, nearly all of these exoplanets are bigger than Jupiter and hotter than Mercury – places that appear very unfriendly to life. But astronomers are now starting to identify smaller, more intriguing objects, including potential water worlds and so-called super-Earths. Next-generation telescopes may soon close in on the ultimate goal: Finding alien planets that...

TMT Releases Public Database of its Site Testing Campaign
January 5th, 2010

The Thirty Meter Telescope Project (TMT) is launching a new database containing five years of atmospheric data from the telescope’s initial five candidates sites: Cerro Tolar, Cerro Armazones, and Cerro Tolonchar, Chile; San Pedro Martir, Mexico; and Mauna Kea, Hawaii, the site selected for TMT. A website containing the entire dataset, the largest of its kind, will be released free-of-charge to the public today.

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