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"The Expanding Universe: Building Giant Telescopes" LA Chapter Mtg

The Aerospace & Defense Forum

Friday, April 19, 2013 from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM (PDT)

Los Angeles, CA

"The Expanding Universe: Building Giant Telescopes" LA...

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The Expanding Universe: Building Giant Telescopes

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Wendy L. Freedman
Crawford H. Greenwalt Chair
Director, Carnegie Observatories

Astronomical discoveries have followed the development of new telescopes and instrumentation. In the last few decades alone, we have discovered over 800 new planets outside of those in our own Solar System, observed galaxies colliding and merging out to tremendous distances, and observed the entire universe to be expanding at an increasing rate, pulled apart by a cosmic force, unexplained by any of our current physical theories.

Wendy will describe how astronomical telescopes have led to our current understanding of cosmology -- the universe on the largest scales. Astronomers have ambitious plans for this decade - with giant new telescopes planned for both the ground and space. She will describe an exciting new international telescope project -- the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), a project being led out of Pasadena, CA.

  

The Giant Magellan Telescope will have a 25m aperture comprised of seven 8.4m diameter mirror segments. It will be located in the Andes mountains of Chile, at Cerro Las Campanas.  The GMT will have a resolution ten times that of the Hubble Space Telescope.

 

The first of the primary mirrors has been completed at the University of Arizona. The surface has been polished to an extraordinary accuracy of 20  nanometers (rms). The second mirror is being fabricated. An adaptive secondary mirror, composed of 3 mm thin mirrors and more than 7000 magnetic actuators will provide the forces needed to correct images distorted by the Earth's atmosphere at a rate of hundreds of times per second. Lasers will provide artificial reference points. 

 

Wendy will give a current status of the GMT project, and discuss its exciting science goals. 
 
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Our Presenter

 

     


Dr. Wendy Freedman
is an astronomer and the Crawford H. Greenewalt Director of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California. A native of Toronto, Canada, she received her doctorate in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Toronto in 1984. She received a Carnegie Fellowship at the Observatories in 1984, joined the permanent faculty in 1987, and was appointed Director in 2003. She currently also chairs the Board of Directors for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), a 25-m optical telescope scheduled for construction in Chile in 2020.

In 2003 Dr. Freedman was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and in 2007 to the American Philosophical Society. She received the 1994 Marc Aaronson Lectureship and prize; and in 2000, she was given the McGovern Award for her work on cosmology, and elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science. In 2002, she was awarded the American Philosophical Society's Magellanic Prize. In 2009 she was one of three co-recipients of the Gruber Cosmology Prize. In 2012, she was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Her principal research interests are in observational cosmology. Dr. Freedman was a principal investigator for a team of thirty astronomers who carried out the Hubble Key Project to measure the current expansion rate of the Universe. Her current research interests are directed at measuring both the current and past expansion rate of the universe, and in characterizing the nature of dark energy, which is causing the universe to speed up its expansion. She is the Principal Investigator of a new large program to use the Spitzer satellite to measure the Hubble constant to an accuracy of 2%.
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When & Where



Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Mitchell
1900 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Friday, April 19, 2013 from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM (PDT)


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The Aerospace & Defense Forum

The Aerospace & Defense Forum is a global aerospace and defense leadership community of over 850, with four chapters providing opportunities for sharing of information, current events, and analysis, mutual support and encouragement, partnering, innovation, and performance breakthroughs.

Website: AerospaceDefenseForum.org

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