This meeting will bring together approximately 15-20 leading astronomers to provide timely feedback and advice that can help guide the TMT, GMT, and NOAO teams as they work with the broad astronomical community and prepare to make the case for broad U.S. participation in a joint extremely-large telescope program to the 2020 Decadal Survey. Leaders from the TMT, GMT, and NOAO will make presentations and will describe their plans for engaging the broader community.
On May 21, 2018, it was announced that the GMT Organization, TMT International Observatory, and NOAO had begun discussing with the NSF a U.S. Extremely Large Telescope (US-ELT) Program . The stated goal of the US-ELT is to strengthen U.S. scientific leadership through access to extremely large telescopes in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres [see e.g. opinion article by M. Mountain and A. Cohen, Nature 560, 427-429 (2018), 2]. To begin the process, TMT, GMT, and NOAO have jointly begun working with the research community to develop Key Science Programs (KSPs) to promote collaborations on major research topics to greater utilize the large investments of time and money on both telescopes. At the Kavli Futures Symposium in December, we would like to have a conversation about their plans for presenting the case to the U.S. community and the NSF and to receive input regarding any aspects of the US-ELT Program.