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ELTs: The Next Generation of Extremely Large Optical/Infrared Telescopes

Friday 1st August 2014 - 8:00pm
Topic:  ELTs: The Next Generation of Extremely Large Optical/Infrared Telescopes
Speaker:   Professor Warrick Couch, AAO
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping

Abstract:  
Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) represent the next quantum leap forward in optical/infrared telescope design and light-gathering capability. Their enormous primary mirrors, which will be 25-40 meters in diameter, will collect 10-100 times as much light as the world’s largest existing telescopes, and will produce images more than an order of magnitude sharper than those of the Hubble Space Telescope. They will be able to see the first stars forming in the universe billions of years ago and search out Earth-like planets around nearby stars for signs of life. This talk will describe the impressive progress that been made in designing and building such giant telescopes. A particular focus will be the 25m Giant Magellan Telescope Project – one which Australia is deeply involved in both technically and scientifically, and is on the verge of commencing its construction phase.
Biography:
Warrick Couch is the Director of the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO). Prior to taking up this position, he was Director of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. Warrick is also a founding non-executive director of Astronomy Australia Limited, and was its Chair from 2010-2012. He has also been Chair of the Anglo-Australian Telescope Board, Chair of the AAO Advisory Committee, and is currently the Vice-President of the Australian Institute of Physics. He has 35 years research experience in the fields of observational cosmology and galaxy evolution, and was a member of the Supernova Cosmology Project whose leader was a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the accelerating universe.

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Event Date: 
Friday, 1 August, 2014 - 20:00
Location: 
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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