Celebrating 40 Years of Discovery and a Bright Future at CFHT

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Celebrating 40 Years of Discovery and a Bright Future at CFHT

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Join Doug Simons, CFHT’s executive director, on a journey through space and time as he discusses the past, present and future of CFHT. 

With the passage of 2 generations since CFHT was built on Maunakea in the late 1970’s, much has changed in the world - cell phones, internet, supercomputers, segmented mirror technology, adaptive optics, dark energy, black holes, gravitational waves, Pluto’s demotion, twitter, the end of the Cold War, etc. One thing hasn’t changed though – CFHT’s importance to modern astronomy. As a leading research facility used by astronomers worldwide throughout its 40-year history, seminal observations at CFHT crucially supported –

·         The discovery of the largest form of energy in the universe (Dark Energy)

·         The first detections of cosmic gravitational lenses that paved the way to mapping dark matter across the universe

·         Tracking the first interstellar asteroid (‘Oumuamua) as it sped through our solar system

·         and much more...

CFHT’s ability to remain competitive all these years is due to many factors, including a site that is second to none, a staff that is far beyond being simply “dedicated”, a research community that is incredibly innovative, novel instrumentation, and perhaps most importantly – a willingness to take risks. Today CFHT’s 5 instruments, which operate from ultraviolet to infrared wavelengths, and ability to conduct enormous surveys of the universe, enable a steady stream of discoveries. CFHT’s annual publications rate now exceeds 200 papers per year and has never been higher in our 40-year history. The same can be said for CFHT’s overall “science impact” in astronomy (#2 worldwide), and CFHT’s astronomy education and outreach program is among the leaders in Hawaii. The story behind CFHT’s success, and how we intend to propel CFHT forward with a quantum leap in technology, will be covered in this evening’s edition of Maunakea Skies.

Tickets: $10 Non-Members/ $8 Members