The decadal survey for astronomy and astrophysics is a powerful study that our community uses to drive strategy and vision for the next decade of federally funded transformative science. The 2020 report, Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s (Astro2020), was published by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine on 4 November 2021. We are honored that the community, via the decadal survey, has ranked the US Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) as the highest ground-based priority in Pathways to Discovery. Read more.
Henry Yang, Board Chair, Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory, issued the following statement in response to today’s release of the Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s Decadal Survey:
“The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), an international collaboration, thanks the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine for its thorough work to prioritize the next decade’s astronomy and astrophysics projects and programs. We are grateful for the science community’s support for our project, and acknowledge it is just one step in a process. We will review the full report carefully and evaluate our next steps."
What is the Decadal Survey?
Every 10 years, the U.S. National Academies of the Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convenes a survey committee and supporting study panels to carry out a Decadal Survey in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The overall goal of the Survey is to evaluate the projects and programs that will be prioritized for the coming decade. The Decadal Survey for the 2020 decade began in early 2019 and is referred to as Astro2020.
Did TMT participate in the Decadal Survey?
Yes, TMT, along with its other partners in the US-ELTP presented their science and technical readiness to athe Decadal Survey Panel in February 2020.
Which organizations sponsor the Decadal Survey?
While the survey is sponsored by NASA, NSF, and DOE, it is driven by input received by the community in the form of white papers. A total of 573 science white papers were submitted as part of Astro2020.
What does a high ranking in the Decadal Survey mean?
A high ranking in the Decadal means that a project has been identified by the science committee as a high-priority research activity for astronomy and astrophysics for the coming decade.