US Extremely Large Telescope Program




US ELT Program Recent News
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)

The goal of the US ELT Program is to complete both telescopes and to secure sufficient federal funding to make at least 25 percent of the observing time on GMT and TMT available for open access by the entire US community. This two-hemisphere ELT system would provide 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.