Aug 23, 2011

The Giant Magellan Telescope

This is the GMT, the Giant Magellan Telescope.

I was turned onto this project from the 2007 TV series “The Universe,” the building of a telescope four times as powerful as anything we’ve ever created - better and higher resolution than the Hubble, from an array of seven 30 feet diameter mirrors, being built under the stadium of the University of Arizona (in what I can only assume is a magical wonderland).

I’m from Tucson, where the University is, so I was a little surprised. But they’ve always had a good astronomy program… and they’ve also endangered species with their telescope placement in the past (such as Mount Graham’s telescope range).

But this? This is being built in Las Campanas Peak (“Cerro Las Campanas”), Chile, in what is described as possibly the best location on Earth for any kind of terrestrial telescope. 

This telescope is amazing. With the previous advents of tech (especially the mid-90’s exploration of orbiting planets) and understanding, I cannot wait to see what phenomenal imagery and speculative astrophysics comes from this thing. It will truly bring our terrestrial exploration of space into the 21st Century.

I mean, the damn lenses are made from honeycombed glass so that they can be fanned so the Heat of the Air doesn’t distort the visual acuity.

Fuck yeah. Science. 

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