See the GMTO's press release for more details.
The GMTO Corporation today announced the start of hard rock excavation for the Giant Magellan Telescope’s massive concrete pier and the foundations for the telescope’s enclosure on its site at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Using a combination of hydraulic drilling and hammering, the excavation work is expected to take about five months to complete. Excavation is a key step towards the construction of the GMT, which is expected to see first light as early as 2024.
See the GMTO's press release for more details.
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Organisation have announced the release of the 2018 Science Book describing GMT’s strengths and its potential for scientific discovery.
The book describes the transformative impact that GMT will have on areas spanning observational astrophysics—from exoplanets around neighboring stars to the formation of the first, most distant stars, galaxies, and black holes in the universe. It also describes the GMT itself, explaining its unique design and capabilities, including the first-generation instrument suite that has been chosen to maximize the GMT’s scientific impact during early operations.
The Science Book can be downloaded in pdf format from the GMTO website.
AAL is very pleased to announce the launch of its Science Advisory and Project Oversight Committees.
In order to make informed decisions about the best way to invest in astronomy infrastructure, the AAL Board relies upon strategic and technical advice from its advisory committees. AAL has adopted a new structure for these committees, with effect from July 2018. Four pre-existing advisory committees were dissolved, and two new committees created.
The AAL Science Advisory Committee (ASAC), to be chaired by Professor John Lattanzio of Monash University, will be responsible for providing strategic advice to the board on questions surrounding the infrastructure required to answer the key science questions in the decadal plan. Further details on the committee and its membership can be found here.
The AAL Project Oversight Committee (APOC), to be chaired by Dr Katrina Sealey of AAO-Macquarie, has responsibility for undertaking regular evaluations of AAL funded projects. Further details on the committee and its membership can be found here.
AAL is delighted to be partnering with Macquarie University, the Australian National University and the University of Sydney, to form Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) - a collaborative national capability in optical instrumentation. The combined capability will strengthen Australia's bids for large international contracts at leading observatories world-wide. AAL will support the new AAO through a $20million commitment of astronomy NCRIS funds over 4 years.
From the 1st July 2018, Macquarie University has taken on the capability of the Australian Astronomical Observatory's instrumentation group, which previously sat within the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. For further details of the transfer of the old AAO instrumentation capability to Macquarie, and the newly established national AAO capability, see the Macquarie media release.
These new arrangements, along with those for operations of the AAT, are part of an Australian Government package announced in the May 2017 Federal Budget: Maintaining Australia's Optical Astronomy Capability. This package includes a 10-year strategic partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which gives Australian astronomers access to ESO facilities in Chile, including the four 8.2m-diameter telescopes of the Very Large Telescope.
AAL is delighted to announce the establishment of the AAT Consortium. The Consortium, which includes thirteen Australian universities and managed by AAL, will fund and oversee operations of the 3.9m Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) from July 2018.
Located at the Siding Spring Observatory, the AAT is Australia's largest optical telescope, and currently operated by the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO). It has been instrumental to Australian optical astronomy over the past 40 years, and a suite of world-class instruments will continue to see it undertaking competitive science in the coming years.
The new arrangements for AAT operations are part of an Australian Government package announced in the May 2017 Federal Budget: Maintaining Australia's Optical Astronomy Capability. This package includes a 10-year strategic partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which gives Australian astronomers access to ESO facilities in Chile, including the four 8.2m-diameter telescopes of the Very Large Telescope.
The AAT Consortium will be governed by the AAT Council, with representation from all of the contributing university partners. AAL will act as Manager of the Consortium, with the telescope to be operated by the Australian National University.
The AAT Consortium includes: The Australian National University (operator), The University of New South Wales, The University of Sydney, Macquarie University, Western Sydney University, The University of Melbourne, Swinburne University, Monash University, The University of Queensland, The University of Southern Queensland, Curtin University, The University of Tasmania and The University of Western Australia, with AAL as Consortium Manager.
See also: ANU media release (external link)
We are delighted to announce the recruitment of Dr Stuart Ryder to AAL. Stuart brings to the AAL team a decade of experience as Head of the AAO’s International Telescopes Support Office. He has also been a prolific user of major optical telescopes including Gemini, Keck, Subaru and ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Stuart will commence employment with AAL as a program manager in the Sydney office from the 2nd July 2018.
Science Advisory and Project Oversight Committees
Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL) seeks applications for its Science Advisory and Project Oversight Committees. These two new committees are expected to hold their first meetings in August 2018, and will replace AAL’s four existing advisory committees.
If you consider yourself well placed to contribute to one of these committees via your expertise, ideas, and experience, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a maximum three page application with:
AAL is committed to equity and diversity and encourages applications from all interested candidates with relevant expertise and skills.
Please do not hesitate to contact AAL if you have any questions regarding these committees:
Mark McAuley, CEO, 03 9214 8036;
James Murray, Senior Program Manager, 03 9214 8426;
Mita Brierley, Senior Program Manager, 02 9850 6371
Applications close on Tuesday 19th June 5 PM AWST. Late applications will not be accepted.
More details may be downloaded below
The Giant Magellan Telescope was recently featured on Great Big Story. Narrated by GMTO's Patrick McCarthy, the video highlights the astronomical significance of the GMT project and its precise construction process.
Underneath the University of Arizona’s football stadium are the beginnings of the Giant Magellan Telescope, set to be the largest optical telescope in the world. The Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory is the only place equipped to manufacture gigantic 27-foot tall mirrors, the kind needed to build the heart of the Magellan. Each of the seven mirrors that will comprise the telescope weigh in at 17-tons and will produce images with 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope, giving scientists an unprecedented look into the fringes of our universe.
FINANCE and CONTRACT MANAGER
Astronomy Australia Limited is looking to employ a Finance and Contract Manager.
This part-time, ongoing position is responsible for the financial and contract management of the company. The successful applicant will take a hands-on approach to their duties, working in a small team alongside the CEO, company secretary, project administrator and four program managers.
· Financial management
· Financial reporting
· Contract management
Travel required: One or two interstate trips per year.
Staff management duties: None.
Location: Hawthorn, Victoria.
The position description including selection criteria may be downloaded below
Applications for this position have now closed
The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) today announced that Arizona State University (ASU) has joined the mission to build the world’s largest telescope, the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). The project’s partnership with ASU will aid in GMT’s mission of discovery and its quest to answer some of the most fundamental questions of all: where did we come from, and are we alone in the Universe. The GMT will probe the atmospheres of planets around other stars for signs of biochemistry, and will look back to the early universe to understand how the first stars and galaxies formed.
See the full press release available on the GMT website.
ASU’s Dr. Rogier Windhorst will give a public lecture on next generation telescopes, including the JWST and GMT. The lecture will be live-streamed at 1.30pm AEST, 1st Dec 2017: more information is here.