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Observatory Director Discusses Plans for World's Largest Telescope

Observatory Director Discusses Plans for World's Largest Telescope
Artist rendering of the Giant Magellan Telescope/The University of Texas at Austin

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will be the largest telescope in the world when it comes online in 2023.

Taft Armandroff, the director of UT Austin's McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, is involved in the planning of and funding for the new observatory, which will be built atop a mountain in Chile. 

He recently spoke with Marfa Public Radio about this new project that will complement current research in West Texas and around the world.

"Astronomers are working with galaxies where light travels billions of years to get to us, so we really need a lot of light-gathering power," Armandroff said.

The GMT, which will be approximately 24.5 meters in diameter, is more than twice as wide as the largest telescopes today. At an estimated cost of $1.05 billion, the GMT has more than 5 times the light gathering-capacity of the largest telescopes today and will allow astronomers to see with spatial resolution ten times better than that of the Hubble Space telescope.

"This revolutionary project really will change what we know about the universe," Armandroff said. "The telescope will allow us to study these distant galaxies in more depth, along with beautiful resolution and detail."

Read more: Giant Magellan Telescope Will Examine Deep Space Like Nothing Before 

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Thursday, 29 October 2020

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