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Richard Green Named Director of Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham

Press Release From: University of Arizona
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2005

The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) will have a new director starting Sept. 1, 2005. Richard Green, currently director of Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), is making a move to the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory to oversee the world's most powerful ground-based telescope. The LBT is at the Mount Graham International Observatory, located on Mount Graham in southeast Arizona.

Green is joining the LBT team as it moves from the construction to observational phase. Utilizing two 8.4-meter (27.6 feet) "honeycombed" mirrors on a single mount, the LBT will be the first in a new era of advanced optical telescopes with unprecedented celestial viewing capabilities. The first mirror was installed in October 2004, and the second will be installed later this year.

Peter Strittmatter, president of the Large Binocular Telescope Corporation, said, „This is an exciting time for not only LBT, but the entire astronomy community. The installation of the second mirror will allow us to see deeper into space than ever before. The entire world will be watching and we have confidence that Richard Green will be a tremendous addition to lead the project as it moves into the observational phase. He is a man with a great deal of experience and knowledge, and we look forward to working with him.‰

Green received his doctorate in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology in 1977. With nearly 30 years experience in the field, Green has been involved in an impressive array of both ground based telescope projects and deep space astrophysics missions. He has worked with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) for over 20 years and was named deputy director of NOAO in 1992.

In 1997 Green was named director of Kitt Peak National Observatory, where he has overseen the development of numerous new astronomical instruments that have kept KPNO competitive and at the center of new discoveries. Green has also served as president of the WIYN Observatory Board, which is a joint enterprise of the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Yale University and the NOAO.

Green, who is an adjunct professor of astronomy and astronomer at The University of Arizona, has also worked on a number of important deep space missions. Examples include his service on the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph instrument team for the Hubble Space Telescope and his work on the NASA Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer mission science team.

Green said, „I look forward to working with John Hill and the outstanding national and international team that have developed the world’s most advanced telescope."

John Hill served as the director of the LBT with distinction throughout the critical design and construction process. He will continue as the technical director for the project.

"LBT pushes the state of the art in telescope performance," Green added, "and it is a tremendous honor to be named the director. I‚m excited by the challenge of completing the ambitious vision and satisfying the partners‚ scientific aspirations for this powerful, pathfinding telescope.‰

The $120 million LBT is run by the Large Binocular Telescope Corporation, which was established in 1992. The project is an international collaboration of leading astronomical institutions that include:

  • The University of Arizona, through the Arizona Board of Regents, holds a 25 percent interest in the partnership and represents Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University on the project.
  • The Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica is a 25 percent partner in the project and represents observatories in Florence, Bologna, Rome, Padua, Milan and elsewhere in Italy.
  • Germany‚s LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft is a 25 percent partner in LBT. It consists of the Max-Planck Society (MPIA Heidelberg, MPE Garching/Munich, MPIfR Bonn), the Center for Astronomy (Heidelberg University) and the AIP (Potsdam).
  • The Ohio State University is a 12.5 percent partner.
  • The Research Corp. also holds a 12.5 percent interest and provides participation for the University of Notre Dame, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Virginia.

    More information, including high-resolution photographs of the LBT, can be found online at http://www.lbto.org

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