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
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 is released
1 November 2021 Read the US-ELTP Background for Media brochure for Astro2020
20 January 2021 US-ELTP presentations at AAS #237, January 2021
8 October 2020 Planetary Science Decadal Survey white papers and Snowmass Letters of Interest
11 August 2020 Submission of "Planning and Design for a US Extremely Large Telescope Program" proposals to the National Science Foundation
25 March 2020 The US ELT Program presents to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey

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.