Astronomers and supporters from eight institutions around the country who are developing the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will gather at The University of Arizona Steward Observatory Mirror Lab on Saturday, July 23, to celebrate the casting of the first of seven 8.4- meter (27-foot) mirrors for the facility.
With this casting, the GMT becomes the first extremely large ground-based telescope to start construction.
The GMT will feature six giant off-axis mirrors around a seventh on-axis mirror. This arrangement will give it a 22-meter (72-foot) aperture, or 4.5 times the collecting area of any current optical telescope. It will have the resolving power of a 25.6-meter (84-foot) diameter telescope, or 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope. The GMT is slated for completion in 2016 at a site in northern Chile. More about the project is online at www.gmto.org
Tina McDowell | UA Office
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