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Paper: GSMT Education: Teaching about Adaptive Optics and Site Selection Using Extremely Large Telescopes
Volume: 431, Science Education and Outreach: Forging a Path to the Future
Page: 389
Authors: Sparks, R. T.; Pompea, S. M.
Abstract: Giant Segmented Mirror Telescopes (GSMT) represents the next generation of extremely large telescopes (ELT). Currently there are three active ELT projects, all established as international partnerships to build telescopes of greater than 20 meters aperture. Two of these have major participation by U.S. institutions: the Giant Magellan Telescope and the Thirty Meter Telescope. The ESO-ELT is under development by the European Southern Observatory and other European institutions.

We have developed educational activities to accompany the design phase of these projects. The current activities focus on challenges faced in the design and site selection of a large telescope. The first module is on site selection. This online module is based on the successful Astronomy Village program model. Students evaluate several potential sites to decide where to build the GSMT. They must consider factors such as weather, light pollution, seeing, logistics, and geography. The second project has developed adaptive optics teaching units suitable for high school.
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