VANCOUVER, April 6, 2015 – The Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) is delighted by Canada’s commitment to construction funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) international partnership, announced yesterday evening by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver.
“The TMT is the top priority in Canada’s Long Range Plan for Astronomy and Astrophysics, our roadmap to continued international leadership in this field. Canada’s astronomers will point to today’s announcement for decades to come as a critical moment in furthering our excellence in the field,” said Christine Wilson, President of CASCA and Co-Chair of the Coalition for Canadian Astronomy.
The TMT is a revolutionary telescope conceived and designed by Canadian astronomers and industry working together with their partners in China, India, Japan, the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. The TMT will be almost 100 times more powerful than the current best telescope. The telescope will examine the first stars to form in the universe, the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way and the atmospheres and other properties of planets within the habitable zones of other stars.
“Canada has consistently ranked among the top three countries in the world in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and that success is directly linked to our ability to access the top facilities in the world, like the TMT. This is a great day for Canadian astronomy as we have now secured long-term access to what will be the world’s most powerful ground-based telescope,” stated Wilson.
CASCA joined with its Coalition for Canadian Astronomy partners from the university sector and industry in welcoming the Prime Minister’s announcement.
“Canadian astronomers have been responsible for some of the greatest discoveries in this field, and it is our hope that the TMT will inspire a new generation of young Canadians to pursue a career in the sciences. The science TMT will deliver will be transformative for astronomy, both in Canada and around the world. This is a once-in-a-generation project in which all Canadians can take great pride,” said Ray Carlberg, Canadian TMT Project Director.
About the Canadian Astronomical Society / Société canadienne d’astronomie
The Canadian Astronomical Society was founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1983 as a society of professional astronomers. The society is devoted to the promotion and advancement of knowledge of the universe through research and education. CASCA’s road map to international leadership in this field is the Long Range Plan for Astronomy and Astrophysics, or LRP. The LRP was created by a Blue Ribbon Panel to chart a course for Canadian astronomy. It calls for Canadian participation in the next generation of global astronomy projects, coupled with investments in technology development in Canada, the training of young Canadian scientists and engineers, and intellectual leadership in the planning and operation of facilities by Canadian astronomers.
For further information, contact:
(905) 525-9140 x27483
CASCA Press Officer
Canadian TMT Project Director
For more information about TMT, visit tmt.org