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The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project has successfully passed two major reviews, completing its detailed design phase and positioning the project to enter the construction phase. When completed the 25-meter GMT will have more than six times the collecting area of the largest telescopes today and ten times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists will use the GMT to explore distant and potentially habitable planets around other stars, to explore the Universe in the first billion years after the big bang, and to probe the mysteries of dark matter, dark energy and massive black holes.

The next class of extremely large telescopes promises to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe.

Artist's concept.
credit Giant Magellan Telescope - GMTO CorporationArtist's concept.
Artist's concept. Laser tracking is in action.
credit Giant Magellan Telescope - GMTO CorporationArtist's concept. Laser tracking is in action.
Artist's concept of the primary mirrors.  GMT is a segmented mirror telescope that employs seven of today’s largest stiff monolith mirrors as segments.
credit Giant Magellan Telescope - GMTO CorporationArtist's concept of the primary mirrors. GMT is a segmented mirror telescope that employs seven of today’s largest stiff monolith mirrors as segments.
Artist's night view concept of the telescope.
credit Giant Magellan Telescope - GMTO CorporationArtist's night view concept of the telescope.
Artist's concept showing the stiff monolith mirrors as segments. Six off-axis 8.4 meter or 27-foot segments surround a central on-axis segment, forming a single optical surface 24.5 meters, or 80 feet, in diameter with a total collecting area of 368 square meters.
credit Giant Magellan Telescope - GMTO CorporationArtist's concept showing the stiff monolith mirrors as segments. Six off-axis 8.4 meter or 27-foot segments surround a central on-axis segment, forming a single optical surface 24.5 meters, or 80 feet, in diameter with a total collecting area of 368 square meters.
Artist's concept.
credit Giant Magellan Telescope - GMTO CorporationArtist's concept.
The first primary mirror segment on the polishing machine at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. Deviations of no more than 1 millionth of an inch can be tolerated.
credit Ray Bertram, U of ArizonaThe first primary mirror segment on the polishing machine at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. Deviations of no more than 1 millionth of an inch can be tolerated.
The second GMT primary mirror segment.
credit Ray Bertram, U of ArizonaThe second GMT primary mirror segment.

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18.09.2014by Robert Sugar

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