The SFAA hosts an unparalleled list of guest speakers throughout the year. Our Speaker Series attracts leaders from all astronomy and physics fields who share with SFAA Members the latest developments from cutting-edge projects each month. Held in the Randall Museum’s Auditorium on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, join us for coffee and light snacks at 7pm followed by the General Meeting at 7.15pm and lecture kick off at 7.30pm.
2013 Lecture Schedule
Building the World’s Largest Telescopes:
The Future of Ground-Based Astronomy
a presentation by
Dr. Tom Zobrist
7:30PM, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2013
Tom Zobrist will recap his experience working at the Stewart Observatory Mirror Laboratory (SOML) helping to build the world’s largest astronomical telescopes, including LBT, GMT, and LSST. He will provide a brief explanation of the fabrication process, starting from 5 kg chunks of glass to producing light-weighted, monolithic telescope mirrors up to 8.4 m diameter. Results from the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), currently the world’s largest telescope, will be highlighted to show the comparison between ground-based and space-based astronomy. SOML is currently fabricating the mirrors for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), which will each revolutionize ground-based astronomy when they are complete. Tom will discuss how LSST will allow every amateur astronomer to have access to an 8.4 m research-grade telescope, and about the race between GMT and its competitors, the Universities of California led Thirty Meter Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope, for the title of World’s Largest Telescope.
Dr Tom Zobrist received his PhD in Optical Engineering from the University of Arizona. He worked as a metrologist and optical research engineer at the Optical Sciences Center and Stewart Observatory Mirror Laboratory in Tucson, AZ between 2003 – 2011. During that time he helped develop numerous optical metrology systems for measuring the surface figure of precision optics and astronomical mirrors for many of the world’s largest astronomical telescopes. In 2011, he made a career change from supporting the fabrication of the world’s largest optics to supporting the world’s largest optical system: the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he supports target and diagnostic alignment activities.
Directions to the Randall Museum
199 Museum Way – near San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park. For public transit or driving directions see here.