US Extremely Large Telescope Program

News 5 Nov 2021: US Extremely Large Telescope Program Supports Vision of Decadal Survey: 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.



US ELT Program Recent News
2 October 2023 The United States Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) today announced it has received $15.3 million from the National Science Foundation to support further design and development of advanced optical technologies and user services. The funding consists of one-year awards of $2.3 million to NSF’s NOIRLab managed by AURA, and $6.5 million each to the organizations building the Giant Magellan Telescope and the Thirty Meter Telescope.
15 June 2022 The Giant Magellan Telescope, Thirty Meter Telescope and NOIRLab shared their progress in person as part of the US ELT Program at AAS240! Hundreds of visitors came to our joint booth, open house and splinter sessions. 
11 April 2022 Influence the US-ELTP, take the survey.
5 November 2021 US Extremely Large Telescope Program Supports Vision of Decadal Survey
4 November 2021 The Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s Decadal Survey report is released
Earlier News Items

A new research frontier in astronomy will open with the advent of ground-based extremely large optical-infrared telescopes (ELTs) with primary mirror diameters greater than 20m. These observatories will enable transformational discoveries in nearly all areas of astrophysics from our Solar System to the most distant stars and galaxies, from fundamental physics and cosmology to the search for evidence of life on planets around other stars.

The US ELT Program is a joint endeavor of

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)

These organizations plan to submit for peer-review proposals that seek a federal contribution to complete the telescopes and make at least 25 percent of the observing time available for open access for the whole US community. The two-hemisphere system would provide the US science community with greater and more diverse research opportunities than could be achieved with a single telescope. Any US scientist with a great idea could propose to use TMT and GMT observing time managed by NOIRLab. All data from GMT and TMT would be available from NOIRLab's archive. NOIRLab would provide an extensive suite of user services, documentation, and training to support the entire research lifecycle from submission of proposals to observations to data analysis.

The US ELT Program is committed to enabling diversity within scientific collaborations. We seek to empower the best minds, no matter their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or institutional affiliation.


Updated on October 2, 2023, 10:14 am