A giant telescope valued at $1 billion is said to be able to take photos that trample all over NASA’s Hubble by shooting images with 10 times greater resolution.
Currently under construction in Chile, the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will produce the best resolution ever achieved, thanks to mirrors included within it than are capable of collecting more light than any other telescope in existence.
The Giant Magellan Telescope website lists the technology as “one member of the next class of giant ground-based telescopes that promise to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe.”
Don’t get excited just yet though; we’ve got more than five years to wait before it begins operations in 2024. Being assembled atop a mountain in the Atacama Desert at an altitude of 8,500 ft, scientists are based at the Las Campanas Observatory, thanks to the clear conditions from such a great height. It should permit them to take images with perfect clarity over 300 nights a year.
Weighing in at 1,500 tons, the telescope will be comprised of a total of seven mirrors, each clocking in at 20 tons, while able to withstand extreme temperature changes. The mirrors were constructed at the University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory.
The intended use for such a groundbreaking piece of equipment is to “explore the ancient universe and search for life among the stars.”
All images courtesy of Giant Magellan Telescope, GMTO Corporation, and used with permission.