Giant Magellan Telescope Partners Approve $500 Million For Construction

Giant Magellan Telescope

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) has passed a major milestone as 11 international partners—including Carnegie—approved its construction, which secures the project’s future and unlocks more than $500 million of work on the world’s most powerful optical telescope.

The 25-meter telescope will be part of the new generation of extremely large optical telescopes. The GMT will enable astronomers to look deeper into space and further back in time, producing images up to 10 times sharper than those produced by the Hubble Space Telescope. It is expected to see first light in 2021 and be fully operational by 2024.


DTM's #girlswithtoys

Marion Garcon

After an NPR interview ran on May 16 quoting a male astronomer saying, "Many scientists, I think, secretly are what I call 'boys with toys'", the reactionary hashtag #girlswithtoys went viral on Twitter.

Female scientists from around the world posted photos of themselves on Twitter with the tools and machines they use to conduct their research everyday. Besides proving a point, the photos also provide a gateway into the fascinating equipment scientists use on a daily basis. Here are Carnegie's #girlswithtoys doing cool, smart science.


The Hunt for Extrasolar Planets with Paul Butler

Paul Butler

Over 120 people descended upon Carnegie's Broad Branch campus on Thursday, 14 May 2015, to hear DTM Astronomer Paul Butler reveal the truth about alien worlds and the origin of science for the final installment of Carnegie's 2014-15 Neighborhood Lectures Series.

In the past 20 years, more than a thousand extrasolar planets have been found, first from ground-based precision Doppler surveys, and more recently by the Kepler space mission. Butler and his colleagues have concentrated on building precise Doppler systems to survey the nearest stars. Systems at Lick, Keck, AAT, and Magellan have found hundreds of planets, including five of the first six extrasolar planets, the first saturn-mass planet, the first neptune-mass planet, the first terrestrial mass planet, and the first multiple planet systems.


STEM Education, Outreach, and You

Julie Edmonds

Julie Edmonds, director of the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE), led a workshop titled, "STEM Education, Outreach, and You," on Friday, 15 May 2015, in the Abelson Collaboration Center as part of DTM's Postdoctoral Development Workshop series.

Edmonds led the group through the majority of CASE's programs that promote science education among students and educators in the Washington D.C. metro area. She also provided multiple opportunities for postdocs to both diversify their resumes and become more involved in mentoring programs.


Photo Essay: A Borehole Strainmeter Installation in the Campi Flegrei Volcanic Area

Strainmeter Installation

In April 2015, a DTM team led by Alan Linde travelled to Naples, Italy, to install an additional borehole strainmeter in the Campi Flegrei volcanic area.

Campi Flegrei is an active volcanic system that has experienced significant episodes of elevation changes including an uplift of more than 2 meters during the 1980s. It is currently uplifting slowly. The area is extensively monitored by GPS, leveling surveys, tiltmeters, and several strainmeters for seismicity, gas emission and deformation.

The team also included DTM's Michael AciernoTyler BartholomewMichael Crawford, and Brian Schleigh. This work is in close collaboration with Professor Roberto Scarpa (University of Salerno), Dr. Marcello Martini and Dr. Bellina Di Lieto (Osservatorio Vesuviano, INGV - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia).


MESSENGER Says Its Final Farewell


MESSENGER was the first spacecraft to orbit around Mercury. However on April 30, 2015, it also became the first spacecraft to make an impact crater on the rocky planet.

Yesterday, at 3:26 p.m., the MESSENGER spacecraft crashed into the surface of Mercury traveling at thousands of miles per hour after completing 4,104 orbits around Mercury during the past four years.