Ground-Based Astrometry 2010-2020
NAVAL OBSERVATORY FLAGSTAFF AZ
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We discuss the opportunities for astronomical discovery via ground-based astrometry carried out in the United States during the 2010-2020 decade. We describe imminent scientific breakthroughs that can be achieved at both classic astrometric scales -- narrow angle astrometry done by individual groups and large Alpha Omega astrometry carried out by consortia. The two most compelling questions to be addressed are 1 What is the composition of the stellar and substellar population near the Sun and 2 What are the shape, size, and mass of the Milky Way We provide a short list of five recommendations that we believe will allow us to take best advantage of the intellectual and financial investments made for what some have called The Decade of Astrometry. The most important recommendation is to provide the educational foundation required so that a new generation of astrometrists can make best use of the rich datasets that will arrive in the coming decade.