Stellar chemical abundances exploring galaxy evolution
By: Wako Aoki
Abstract: Measurements of stellar chemical abundance have been extended to old components of the Milky Way like the halo and the bulge, as well as to surrounding clusters and dwarf galaxies. Recent progresses in this field with 8-10m class telescopes, including most metal-poor stars in the halo, stellar populations of globular clusters, and stars in ultra faint dwarf galaxies, will be reviewed. Next big progress is expected by the collaborations between wide-field and multi-object spectroscopy with large telescopes and high-resolution spectroscopy with TMT.
A high-resolution view of exoplanets in the TMT era
By: Jayne Birkby
Abstract: The high-resolution instruments of the TMT have an enormous potential to revolutionise the detail with which we can study exoplanet atmospheres. In this talk, I will discuss how high-resolution instruments will transition this field from global, disk-averaged information about the composition and structure of exoplanet atmospheres to longitudally-dependant measurements, including surface feature mapping of giant planets. I will also demonstrate the potential of TMT instruments such as HROS, NIRES, and MIRES in finding and characterizing the atmospheres of rocky planets orbiting our nearest neighbours and compare them to their European counterparts on the E-ELT in the south. Ultimately, high-resolution observations with TMT could enable the detection of biomarkers on habitable planets orbiting small stars, heralding a giant leap forward in exoplanet studies from the ground.
Supermassive Black Hole Demographics Through The Ages
By: Jenny E Greene
Abstract: I will discuss our current picture of supermassive black hole (BH) demographics, and outstanding questions about the interplay between black hole and galaxy growth. I will highlight three areas where I anticipate significant progress in the coming decade: (1) Dynamical BH masses should reach break into new mass and redshift domains with the combination of ALMA and TMT. (2) Temporal monitoring opens new windows into BH demographics through reverberation mapping and tidal disruption events; TMT+LSST will be a powerful combination here. (3) Large galaxy surveys will reveal the role of nuclear activity in galaxy evolution at the peak epoch of galaxy growth.
Science operations and observing modes at Gemini Observatory
By: Nancy A Levenson
Abstract: I will describe the current Gemini operation and observing modes. Gemini offers a mix of service and visitor observing, along with some hybrid modes (priority visitor, eavesdropping) to take advantage of the strengths of each. Especially in the context of an international collaboration, where individual users may have limited opportunities to gain direct experience with the facility, communication requires significant attention, and the system for user support throughout the scientific process should be defined clearly. The partner community also contains great expertise that can be tapped for the broad benefit of all users.
Telescope Time Allocation at ESO
By: Ferdinando Patat
Abstract: The European Southern Observatory (ESO) manages the largest astronomical ground-based optical and near-IR facility on the planet. It typically receives one thousand applications per semester from more than 3000 distinct researchers worldwide. Securing a balanced observing schedule for all its telescopes with such a large users community is a very challenging task. This is made more complex by the need of maintaining a wide variety of programme types and keeping the levels of satisfaction and scientific return high.
In this presentation, the underlying schema of proposal submission, review and time allocation will be presented and discussed, especially in terms of different types of observing programmes, modes and requirements. The talk will also touch upon the ongoing review of the time allocation process at ESO, the possibilities that are being considered for the future.
Co-Authors: F. Primas
Supporting Data-Intensive Science
By: David Schade
Abstract: The nature of astronomy data management has changed radically in the past decade. Data centers play an immediate and active role in producing the primary science for ground-based and space-based observatories. They are no longer focused solely on secondary (“archival”) science and long-term curation of data collections. In fact, the term “data center” is quickly becoming obsolete as some groups move toward providing cloud storage and processing, collaborative sharing environments, and the authentication and authorization services that glue these capabilities together. Data archiving has given way to the creation of science support capabilities for collaborative teams. The increasing dominance of large observing programs executed by collaborative international teams is a major driver of these changes.
The CANFAR platform is an example of a model where a number of large international survey science teams have driven the development of a shared platform that is the foundation for project-specific capabilities. These go far beyond data access. Science teams develop data processing and analysis pipelines, and project-specific data access tools. Their data sharing needs drive the development of large team data sharing spaces with access managed by the team leader. Their processing needs drive the development of cloud processing capabilities where team members create personalized environments on virtual machines that can be run in batch or interactive mode. All of these capabilities are deployed on the CANFAR platform that provides fundamental infrastructure.
The CANFAR platform supports science in ways that go far beyond the normal operations of a data center and much further than would be expected from a data archiving system provided by an individual observatory. TMT should not develop an in-house data archiving system that provides all of the services that are needed to support the execution of all phases of large program science. TMT needs to provide basic data security, discovery, and access. It needs to manage metadata well. But integration of data and services (a key goal of the Virtual Observatory) remains an important goal and stand-alone observatory archives are not the answer. There is a wide range of options for TMT data management and the partner countries are certain to develop their own unique approaches to supporting the data and computing needs of their science communities. Those that develop solutions that are well-matched to the science needs of their communities will have a scientific advantage over those that don’t.
In Search of an Inclusive Vision for Astronomy, Culture, and the Future of Maunakea
By: Doug Simons
Abstract: Opposition in Hawaii to TMT recently demonstrated by those who consider Maunakea sacred is challenging the future of not only TMT but all of the Maunakea Observatories. This multi-faceted conflict involves a range of beliefs, culture, and advanced technologies. Mutually respectful coexistence among these interests is essential as we find a common path forward. Issues and options will be presented, followed by an opportunity for Q&A to explore matters in depth.
TMT Workforce, Education, Public Outreach and Communications - A Global Plan
By: Gordon K. Squires
Abstract: TMT science and technology is international in scope, meaning that TMT strives to be an observatory-class facillity for astronomers in all of the partner constituencies. In this presentation, we will describe the goals, opportunities, and needs for developing a partnership-wide Workforce, Education, Public Outreach and Communications (WEPOC) plan to support the key elements of the TMT observatory and partnership. Central to this plan is the commitment to be relevant and responsive to all of the partners, fully leverage all phases of the project, and project forward through the 50 year lifetime of the observatory.
Co-Authors: Janesse Brewer, Sandra Dawson, Steve Pompea & the TMT WEPOC Advisory Group
IGM studies in the TMT era
By: Raghunathan Srianand
Abstract: Absorption lines seen in the spectra of distant bright objects allow us to probe the physical conditions and redshift evolution of intergalactic medium and interstellar medium of distant galaxies. In addition the absorption line can also be used to probe the cosmological parameters and variations of fundamental constants. In this presentation I review what we have achieved with the 10m class telescopes and try to forecast what can be achieved with TMT.
NASA's Astrophysics Data Archives
By: Harry Teplitz
Abstract: NASA has a long-standing commitment to foster continuing research with archival data beyond the initial objectives defined by the flight project or the original observers. Strong support of the astrophysics data archives (IRSA, MAST, HEASARC, KOA, etc) had enabled a thriving research community that provides ongoing science return on the initial project investment. In fact, journal papers each year using archival data from the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes now outnumber papers that rely solely on new observations. I will discuss the enormous benefits of NASA’s data archives and present lessons learned in how to efficiently support archival research.