Giant Magellan Telescope Information
|The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) — the product of more than a century of astronomical research and telescope-building by some of the world’s leading research institutions — will open a new window on the universe for the 21st century. Scheduled for completion around 2018, the GMT will have the resolving power of a 24.5-meter (80 foot) primary mirror — far larger than any other telescope ever built. It will answer many of the questions at the forefront of astrophysics today and will pose new and unanticipated riddles for future generations of astronomers.|
The GMT will produce images up to 10 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope. A conceptual preview of the telescope and some images of the manufacture of the first of its seven mirrors can be seen here. In April 2006, the Australian National University joined the elite group of research and teaching institutions that are undertaking a detailed design of the telescope including the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Arizona, the University of Michigan, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas A&M University. The ANU contribution to the telescope design and future instrumentation projects will take place at the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC) atop Mt. Stromlo, in Canberra. Specifically designed with the technologies for Extemely Large Telescopes in mind, this facility is now open. Significant and early participation in an Extremely Large Telescope project like the GMT is one of the key priorities identified by the Australian astronomical community in its 2006-2015 Decadal Plan, New Horizons. An important step toward the realisation of this pillar of future Australian strength was taken in November 2006, when then Science Minister Bishop announced the first tranche of NCRIS funding for the GMT.
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