Herczeg named Chair of the Science Advisory Committee for the Thirty Meter Telescope


Prof. Gregory Herczeg

Prof. Gregory Herczeg, Associate Director for Science for KIAA at Peking University, was named Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), one of three Extremely Large Telescopes planned for the next generation of optical/infrared telescopes.  China has been a full partner of the TMT since 2012.  If built, the TMT will be 80 times more sensitive and three times better spatial resolution than any current telescope.  The TMT would produce for China and other partners breakthrough science in understanding exoplanets, the youngest galaxies and first stars, the growth of supermassive black holes, and many other science areas.


An artist concept of TMT at night, with the laser guide star system illuminated, courtesy TMT:  https://www.tmt.org/image/25

The TMT project is at a defining moment in the project, with immense challenges to overcome before the project becomes viable.  Construction at the preferred site on Maunakea, Hawaii, USA has stalled due to protests, so a possible move to Roque de los Muchachos on La Palma, Spain is under consideration.  The project also requires more partners to be fully funded, and is being considered for funding by the US National Science Foundation.  Success will require strong leadership by the Governing Board of TMT, with guidance and input from the Science Advisory Committee.  
Herczeg replaces the previous chair, Prof. Tommaso Treu (UCLA), who followed Prof. Charles Steidel (Caltech) and Mark Dickinson (NOAO).  Herczeg has represented China on the Science Advisory Committee since 2015, along with Profs. Taotao Fang (XMU), Lei Hao (SHAO) and Eric Peng (PKU).