The James Webb Telescope (JWST) made history with the deepest, highest resolution image of the cosmos ever seen. Can you imagine something four times more powerful and ground-based here on Earth?
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is currently being installed at Las Campanas Observatory in the Atacama Desert, one of the darkest locations on Earth.
It has seven primary mirrors with a combined light gathering power of 368 square meters, nearly 4000 square feet. That’s a little more than 3 million times TelescopeLive’s CHI-1.
A 22-story high, state-of-the-art enclosure protects the GMT. The alt-azimuth mount provides an incredibly stable platform. The walls drop out of the way, offering an unobstructed view. The 22-meter diameter concrete pier isolates the equipment from the tiniest vibrations.
Adaptive optics adjust for atmospheric distortions at 2,000 times per second.
The mirror lab at Arizona State University makes massive mirrors for our ground-based telescopes, including the Giant Magellan Telescope segments.
Starting with ultra-pure and clear cutlet glass, the lab melts, spins, and then polishes the glass blank, becoming one of the mirror segments for the GMT and other telescope projects.
What will the astrophotography reveal when this telescope is put into operation?