The Giant Magellan Telescope: Solving Big Engineering Challenges to do Big Science

Join Dr Patrick McCarthy, Director of the GMT Organisation, in conversation with Professor Matthew Colless, Director of The Australian National University Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA), as they explore the big engineering challenges faced by the GMT engineers and the big science that will be possible if they achieve their vision.

With an aperture of 24.5 m, the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is one of the new class of extremely large earth-based telescopes. It is expected to have a resolving power ten times better than the Hubble Space Telescope and will help astronomers look back to the earliest moments of our universe. To do this, some cutting-edge engineering will be necessary. 

Australia is a 10% stakeholder in this cutting-edge scientific instrument. Join the Director of the GMT Organisation, Dr Patrick McCarthy, and Professor Matthew Colless, Director of RSAA, as they explore the engineering challenges of building the GMT, the science that will be possible when the telescope sees first light in 2023, and Australia’s role in making it possible.

Dr Patrick McCarthy led the Group that wrote the scientific case for the GMT project and defined the scientific and technical requirements for the facility. As Director he is now turning this dream into a reality. Dr McCarthy is an astronomer who has been active in scientific and management oversight of large science projects and organizations. He has chaired numerous panels for NASA and the NSF providing independent oversight of the Hubble Space, Spitzer Space Telescope and large telescopes on the ground. He was a member of the science team for the Wide-Field Camera 3 recently installed on Hubble and providing breathtaking new views of the early Universe. He became involved with the GMT project very early in its development.

Professor Matthew Colless is the Vice Chair of the GMTO Board. He is an astronomer and former Director of the Australian Astronomical Observatory. As Director of RSAA he is overseeing Australia’s contribution to the GMT, including the development of the GMT Integral Field Spectrometer (GMTIFS) and the Laser Tomography Adaptive Optics. Professor Colless is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, an ISI Citation Laureate and Highly-Cited Researcher, and a Vice-President of the International Astronomical Union.

Date: Tuesday 4th March, 2014

Time: 6:00 – 7:00pm

Venue: Law Link Theatre, Law Courtyard, Building 7, Fellows Rd, ANU

Cost: FREE (registration essential)

To register:

For more information on how industry can bid for GMT engineering contracts, see the GMT Industry Roadshow.