Community Discussion: Canadian Access to Very Large Optical Telescopes this Decade and Beyond

On behalf of Heidi White (on behalf of the CAIW LOC) –

Dear members –

We are truly grateful for the overwhelming response and enthusiasm that you have shown towards our previously advertised Sept 1 discussion on “Canadian Access to Very Large Optical Telescopes this Decade and Beyond”, intended as part of the Canadian Astronomical Instrumentation Workshop (CAIW). Your interest and engagement have been heartening, and we appreciate the active participation from our community members.

It has come to our attention that several of our interested community members (including key CASCA committee representatives) have indicated that they will not be able to attend the meeting due to prior commitments or being away during this period. Others have expressed that the single, 90-minute forum is likely inadequate for this important discussion and the community would be better served by a series of meetings. In light of these responses, the CAIW SOC/LOC has made the decision to postpone this discussion to a later date. We recognize that scheduling such large events during the summer months can be quite challenging, and we want to ensure that everyone can participate and contribute to this important conversation.

Please note that all other components of the CAIW will take place as scheduled.

We believe that this adjustment will allow a greater number of community members to join the discussion, ensuring a more comprehensive and enriching experience for all. We hope community leaders will work together to create opportunities for these conversations to begin taking place in Fall 2023.

Once again, thank you for your support and enthusiasm. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause and truly appreciate your understanding.

We value your continued involvement and collaboration in shaping this discussion and look forward to reconvening for productive and insightful meetings this Autumn.

Mālama Maui

We at CFHT are devastated by the tragic events that took place on Maui. Hawai’i is a small, close-knit state and a disaster on one island ripples through the community. CFHT staff have ‘ohana, friends, and collaborators living on Maui who are personally affected by the fires that ravaged West Maui and Kula. We mourn the loss of so many in Lāhainā and express our solidarity with the Maui community.

We are deeply committed to helping Maui residents however we can. We encourage our astronomy community who are able to contribute to the much-needed aid through the sites indicated at this link: Anything helps.

Jean-Gabriel Cuby
director, CFHT

Invitation to Register – Community Discussion: Canadian Access to Very Large Optical Telescopes this Decade and Beyond

September 1st – 12:30 to 14:00 (Eastern time)

As part of the Canadian Astronomical Instrumentation Workshop (CAIW), jointly organized by iREx/OMM and NRC-HAA, a 90-min community discussion will be held on the topic of “Canadian Access to Very Large Optical Telescopes (VLOTs)“. As the construction timelines for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and the European-Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) become increasingly unaligned, the objective of this event is to create space for community voices on 1) strategies to gain access to a large telescopes before the TMT becomes operational and 2) ongoing issues surrounding TMT’s deployment on Maunakea. While the event is intended to focus on open discussion rather than formal presentations, brief updates on the statuses of both the TMT and E-ELT will be presented at the start of the session.

This event will take place in-person at l’Université de Montréal’s Campus MIL (Pavillion A – Rm. 2521.1) on September 1st from 12:30 – 14:00 (Eastern time). For those interested in attending in person, please register for the CAIW by August 15th. Registration is free and you can only register for the second day. Lunch will be provided for registrants:

Members of the Canadian astronomical community interested in attending this discussion remotely can register for the event at the following Zoom link:

Organizers of the event invite all Canadian astronomers to attend, with a particular emphasis on early career scientists and future users of VLOTs (i.e. graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and similar). Incorporating the perspectives of early career researchers in discussions surrounding the next-generation of ground-based astronomical observatories is absolutely crucial for fostering meaningful dialogue that is comprehensive and relevant. Moreover, it ensures that these upcoming observatories will be equipped to push the boundaries of astronomical exploration and address the evolving needs of future scientific endeavours, while nurturing the growth of the next generation of astronomers.

Heidi White (on behalf of the CAIW LOC)