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Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Awards 2013 Finalist

Doug Simons (CFHT)

"Hawaii Astronomy and the Future of the Maunakea Observatories"

Abstract. Combined, the Maunakea Observatories are some of the most scientifically productive astronomical facilities in the world, accounting for more publications annually than ESO or Space Telescope. Maunakea is an enormous 10 km tall shield volcano (measured from the ocean floor) that is located near the equator and provides a unique vantage point for astronomical research given the exceptionally dark, dry, and stable atmospheric conditions near its summit. Despite these attributes, and the $1B invested in the Maunakea Observatories to date, as these facilities age their ability to contribute meaningfully to astronomy will wane unless continual investment, renewal, and evolution of these facilities is pursued. In this presentation, the current state and possible future for the Maunakea Observatories is explored, providing context for the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE), a revolutionary wide field observatory that is being studied now as a key component in a future network of Maunakea facilities.

Held in the AAO Meeting Room (Room 7, 1st Floor, Building 2) at 11:30 AM on Wednesday, 09 April 2014