Lecture: 19 May “Building the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT)” by Michael Bolte, UCSC

Full Lecture Title: “Building the TMT, The World’s Most Advanced Ground-Based Telescope”

The Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) is a next-generation giant telescope. As the name suggests it will have a primary mirror that is 30 meters in diameter and composed of 492 hexagonal shaped segments. The primary mirror has very high-performance sensors and actuators that are used in a real-time control system to continuously keep the primary mirror in proper optical figure. The TMT will routinely operate with an adaptive optics system that will correct for the blurring of the atmosphere. There is a suite of very sophisticated instruments being designed and built along with the telescope.

Dr. Bolte will discuss the development of the telescope and project, the capabilities of the telescope and the highlights of the science case for the TMT. “With the TMT, we believe we will be able to obtain images and spectra of objects throughout the observable Universe,” explains Bolte. “The science case includes everything from high-resolution studies of solar system objects, to the discovery of planets orbiting other stars, and from the co-development of supermassive blackholes and galaxies, to the first stars formed in the Universe some 12.5 billion years ago.”

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Matthew is an SFAA past President and current webmaster. He is a web designer, software engineer, writer, and lover of the stars.

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