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Thirty Meter Telescope Site Testing I: Overview

Schöck, M. and Els, S. and Riddle, R. and Skidmore, W. and Travouillon, T. and Blum, R. and Bustos, E. and Chanan, G. and Djorgovski, S. G. and Gillett, P. and Gregory, B. and Nelson, J. and Otárola, A. and Seguel, J. and Vasquez, J. and Walker, A. and Walker, D. and Wang, L. (2009) Thirty Meter Telescope Site Testing I: Overview. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 121 (878). pp. 384-395. ISSN 0004-6280.

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As part of the conceptual and preliminary design processes of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), the TMT site-testing team has spent the last five years measuring the atmospheric properties of five candidate mountains in North and South America with an unprecedented array of instrumentation. The site-testing period was preceded by several years of analyses selecting the five candidates: Cerros Tolar, Armazones and Tolonchar in northern Chile; San Pedro Mártir in Baja California, Mexico; and the 13 North (13N) site on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Site testing was concluded by the selection of two remaining sites for further consideration, Armazones and Mauna Kea 13N. It showed that all five candidates are excellent sites for an extremely large astronomical observatory and that none of the sites stands out as the obvious and only logical choice based on its combined properties. This is the first article in a series discussing the TMT site-testing project.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Riddle, R.0000-0002-0387-370X
Djorgovski, S. G.0000-0002-0603-3087
Wang, L.0000-0002-9803-166X
Additional Information:© 2009 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2009 February 20; accepted 2009 March 24; published 2009 May 1. We acknowledge the contributions of three of our friends and collaborators who did not live long enough to see the results of this work: D. André Erasmus, Juan Araya, and Hugo E. Schwarz. The TMT site selection work could not have happened without the direct contributions of many people at various institutions. A special thanks to everybody who has supported the TMT site testing program, in particular the people at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and the AURA New Initiatives Office (NIO), the Universidad Católica del Norte in Antofagasta, the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional de San Pedro Mártir, Gemini Observatory, Palomar Observatory, the Submillimeter Array (SMA), the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), the University of Lethbridge, the University of Moscow, the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), and the entire TMT project including its partner institutions and external reviewers. The list of contributors includes, but is not limited to Rodrigo Alvarez, Juan Araya, Joaquín Bohigas, Gale Brehmer, Matthew Britton, Rick Burruss, Hernan Bustos, Tomás Calvario, Urania Ceseña, Mark Chun, Thomas Mac Cooper, Regan Dahl, Dave De Young, Jay Elias, Clark Enterline, André Erasmus, Carmella Erasmus, Osiris Escoboza, Enrique Figueroa, Sergio Franco, Pedro F. Guillén, Steve Hardash, Jeff Hickey, David Hiriart, Liviu Ivanescu, Victor Kornilov, Francisco Lazo, Rosa Lillo, Eugene Magnier, Manuel Martinez, Neal Masuda, Dan McKenna, Robert McLaren, David Moe, Andres Montané, Jean Mueller, Miguel Murphy, Cooper Nakayama, Roberto Navor, David Naylor, Manuel Núñez, Robin Phillips, Andrew Pickles, Carlos Pinochet, Gary Poczulp, Richard Querel, René Racine, John Randrup, Javier Rojas, Oscar Saa, Derek Salmon, Antony Schinckel, Ricardo Schmidt, Hugo Schwarz, Jacques Sebag, Richard Shelton, Leslie Shirkey, Malcolm Smith, David Smith, Rupert Spann, Eric Steinbring, Robert Thicksten, Andrei Tokovinin, Gregory Tompkins, Harlan Uehara, Konstantinos Vogiatzis, John White, and Chris Yamasaki. The TMT Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the TMT partner institutions. They are the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), the California Institute of Technology, and the University of California. This work was supported as well by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the National Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), and the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA)UNSPECIFIED
University of CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Canada Foundation for InnovationUNSPECIFIED
Ontario Ministry of Research and InnovationUNSPECIFIED
National Research Council of CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
British Columbia Knowledge Development FundUNSPECIFIED
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:878
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090904-104134607
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Official Citation:Thirty Meter Telescope Site Testing I: Overview M. Schöck, S. Els, R. Riddle, W. Skidmore, T. Travouillon, R. Blum, E. Bustos, G. Chanan, S. G. Djorgovski, P. Gillett, B. Gregory, J. Nelson, A. Otárola, J. Seguel, J. Vasquez, A. Walker, D. Walker, and L. Wang Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 2009 121:878, 384-395.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:15610
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Sep 2009 18:25
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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