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Dr. Patrick McCarthy
Director for the Giant Magellan Telescope
Dr. Patrick McCarthy has been an astronomer with the Carnegie Observatories for 23 years and is the Project Director for the Giant Magellan Telescope.
He earned his B.S. in physics from the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. He is known for his work on galaxies in the distant universe and, in particular, for his study of distant low frequency cosmic radio sources: sign posts to massive galaxies undergoing rapid accretion on to super massive black holes. In the late 1990s, McCarthy and his colleagues identified a new population of galaxies with colors indicative of very early star formation. Study of these faint red galaxies is now one of the most active areas of research in astrophysics.
McCarthy has been active in scientific and management oversight of large science projects and organizations. He has chaired numerous panels for NASA and the NSF providing independent oversight of the Hubble Space, Spitzer Space Telescope, and large telescopes on the ground. McCarthy led the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Science Working Group that wrote the scientific case for the telescope project and defined the scientific and technical requirements for the facility.